Well we got there in the end

The day started off very quietly and we thought it would be a slow day then whilst the 4th service was in Peterborough it went a bit mad. Between it going to Peterborough and it coming back we took more money in the shop that we had taken prior to that time. Then it went quiet again.

Had a few of the regulars in and some were noticeable by their absence. Because of the locked car park our ticket sales have dropped and one group today who eventually found us commented that they saw the barrier and thought we were closed, which bears out my theory that that’s what’s happening.

We will see how business develops over the next few weeks.

Paddy was with me today which means a lively day and I was not disappointed, he is always active, an expert at multi tasking, he wears me out.

Next day of excitement will be next Saturday so we will see what that day brings.

A bit of an adventure

Well today was a bit of an adventure, Sue and I ran Ferry Meadows.

Nothing exciting to report I am sorry to say, quite average really but some really nice customers and overall a very enjoyable day.

Back to Orton Mere tomorrow and back to chasing barrier keys and dealing with enquiries about lack of toilets etc….

Today spoilt me!!

The Royal Scotsman

This train graced the NVR overnight, here if your interested is the web link to their site.

http://www.royalscotsman.com/web/rs/journeys/4_131550.jsp

It arrived about 2.30am this morning and left around 10am.

No chance of internal pictures I am sorry to say but here are a few of it at Orton Mere awaiting departure.

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Oh to have money, it was to put it mildly a long train. Just the kind of holiday I would enjoy, shame it’s a bit out of my range.

The normal service train was quite tame compared with this.

It makes a change not to be talking about toilets

Regulars to this blog and the station will know of the saga of the closing council toilets at Orton Mere, if you now need the loo you need to use either a cork or an elastic band and walk a mile to the next nearest toilet.

This has provoked so many moans from passers by and customers that I was forced to put up a message saying the toilets were nothing to do with the railway and not to moan at the staff.

Well a miracle has happened!!! No the toilets have not opened again, instead we have a new subject to moan, whoops sorry talk about and that’s the locked off car park.

People have come into the station today and moaned about the car park being closed off by a locked barrier and for once they are not blaming the railway. Even cyclists are commenting about it and they can now ride round the empty car park to their hearts content!

I have to speak to the park office tomorrow to see about getting a key, and it will be interesting to actually find out the reasoning behind the move. But it’s nice not to be talking about locked toilets for a change!!!

Watch this space as they say for updates.

Start one way finish another

A super day weather wise with wall to wall sunshine, but a bit too hot.

First visitor of the day was “City of Peterborough” with the travelling post office or “TPO” for short. Here it is awaiting departure from my platform 2.

cityofpeterborough01The main passenger service was the Polish tank engine pulling the DSB Danish coaches, but at the end of the day that changed, and we are now running a diesel only service due to the danger of line side fires in this hot weather, not ideal but better safe than sorry as they say.

But the big highlight of the day was the fitting of hand made notice boards and timing board, really nicely made. Here is the timing board.

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The notice boards will have current notices and timetables etc on them which will provide better information when we are closed.

Had numerous comments today reference the closing of the car park and I am sure it affected business as ticket sales did not set the world on fire. Still time will tell if I am correct.

Nice to see some of the regulars today braving the heat, but many stayed at home.

Tomorrow we are running the class31 diesel so see if that brings out a few of the diesel fans!!

All we need now is a moat

Now Wednesday’s are not famous for excitement at Orton Mere, in fact they are often a good day for a kip between trains and running a book on how late each service will be.

But today was different, today we could look at the new barrier across the car park! Now admit it your jealous that we should have something so exciting happen on a Wednesday. But there it was a shiny new barrier cutting off the car park from the rest of civilisation.

Now I can understand why it’s been done to stop travellers using the site as a temporary stopping place and makeshift toilet/rubbish dump. But it will affect business with over 50% of the total car parking at Orton Mere now put out of use.

Still I gather I will be given a key so I can open it when I have need to use the car park for deliveries etc. All that power added to the station set of keys, how will I cope!!!! Mind you looking at the state of the delivery man when he appeared with my ice cream and other stock the key will be needed, despite me sending Nathan to help him with our sack truck. He had a slight gloss finish and was slightly out of breath when he got to the station building and I am sure that was not due to the excitement of being in Arkwright’s then again you never know, I have heard that it affects some members so much that their hearts beat harder and the excitement makes then gasp with pleasure at the thought of being on such hallowed ground as Orton Mere, that could also account for the problem in finding volunteers to cover opening days not to mention the fact that on many maps east of Wansford box is just an expanse of unmarked white paper!!

I have heard a rumour that the three stations are so far away from civilisation that Wansford is planning an expedition on Saturday to discover again these far off places and reward those taking part in the expedition with a train ride and cut price warm fish & chips.

We shall see on Saturday how this great expedition goes and if the secrets of the stations are rediscovered!!!!

mee mah mee mah mee mah

Well what an exciting day, well at the end anyway.

There we were set for a standard day with a busy shop and few passengers when we had a fire!! Now don’t get too excited Arkwright’s has not burnt down! The till and takings are safe!!!!

It was was one of the river side sheds, whoops must be correct, river side chalets!

Burning nicely when the last train came in to us on it’s way to Peterborough. I went to the crossing, somebody had already called the fire brigade so I opened the gates at the crossing so they could get their equipment across quickly. Especially as they thought gas cylinders were in there.

Train was held at city centre and then at my station until they were happy with the gas cylinders and had started to pump water from the river. meaning no hoses crossing the track.

Here is a shot of one of the engines. and also one of the firemen with some equipment in his hands, no sniggering at the back!!

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So all in all an exciting end to an average day. Except I got home just after 7pm

Gems from people at the crossing

Woman to her husband – Love is it me or can you smell smoke?

Is there a fire? As a fireman went past with a hose in his hand.

Man to wife – That’s a bloody big BBQ.

Nobody is going to f’ing well stop me crossing the river, well there are gas cylinders in there she was told, oh she replied I will give it a miss then.

Lets see if Wednesday can beat today for excitement!!

Well that was quite painless

The sun is still shining I am pleased to say.

Interesting day, I got to the station early and had the floor done and all the stuff out quite quickly, so I could sit down with a cuppa and relax before the hoards arrived.

It did not last.

Neville contacted me to say him and Robert would not be at FM as his wife was unwell, not a problem these things happen, but we did not have the staff to open FM and if I closed my station and opened there instead what we got there in turnover we would loose by my station being shut.

As it turned out it was a good decisio0n as we had a decent day in both tickets and shop sales, though because of the weather we did just one hot drink all day.

Stephen was with me today and he is a tall lad so mush get something for my stiff neck from looking upwards when I spoke to him.

The day with a few hiccups flowed quite well and hopefully will flow again on Sunday.

No real noticeable highlights today I am sorry to say.

One happy chappie with the complete set.

Many will have heard me tell customers that it’s never too late for a second childhood.

Well I have just started mine, the wife has bought me 3 DVD’s of Camberwick Green, Trumpton & Chigley.

Most enjoyable especially as I remember them from the first time round. They don’t make kids programmes like that these days. Then animation was by moving figures, taking a frame then moving them again.

All good stuff!!!

Yes I know this has nothing to do with the railway but there is a life away from it!!!!

Hot air, cold ice cream and lot’s of nothing.

Typical Wednesday at Orton Mere, which reminded me why I don’t open unless I need to.

Delivery came early and had Nathan to trundle it up the platform for me to the guards van when it went out to the other stations, all done on the first train each way.

Then that was it, lot’s of nothing customer wise, in other words a typical Wednesday at Orton Mere. Sold a bit in the shop but nothing of note until a nice chap right at the end of the day spent £16 on second hand books, Nathan was beside himself with excitement, me I was just amazed!!

Spoke on the phone to Roger when I got home about the new signage for OM and looking forward to that going up, we are throwing caution to the wind and they will be fixed in place and not removable each night as had been planned, time will see if they last but I look forward to seeing them in place.

Photo will follow when they are put up.