Pines Express Mk2

Photo charter out today with the 4F & City of Peterborough in Pines Express mode.

Only one picture taken as it was not photography weather.

Pines Express If they had been arriving first thing we would have had some nice sunshine. But looking on the bright side at least it was a warm wind.

For once the delivery was early so got home at a reasonable time after a short detour.

More excitement on Saturday.

Just a typical Bank Holiday Monday

Well today was just a typical bank holiday Monday.

We had heavy rain showers, low temperatures and a cold wind.

Here is a picture of the sky to the west just before one really heavy shower that arrived and went again just as quickly.

Orton Mere Just the weather to bring in the customers!!

Locomotives today were the J94 steam locomotive and a class 14 diesel. As always with a mixed traction service the class14 runs were quieter passenger numbers wise. Though amazingly today we kept almost to time on every service.

Here is the J94 arriving with the first service of the day from Wansford. It is a really nice looking locomotive.

J94Quiet in the shop again as the weather kept almost all my locals at home and they provide most of my shop business.

The two, for want of a better word, highlights of the day happened towards the end.

First we had a dog vomit on the platform, shame the owners did a runner without telling me, all they needed to do was mention it, but no they left it for me to discover! Two buckets of water with disinfectant later and it was history.  At least the dog did it, unless the humans ate grass of course so it can’t have been anything in the tea or coffee.

Just before second to last service to Wansford I spotted two people, one young and one a bit older trackside just passed the foot crossing, so I went to investigate. When challenged the older person who I presumed was the grandfather proudly announced they were members and that the lad liked to get good pictures! (As though they though I was going to say, well that’s OK then sorry to disturb you)but that no they did not have track passes. So I asked them to make their way back to the crossing and the other side of the fence. You would think that as members they would know better especially as they had one high-viz between them and that was around the legs of the tripod!!!
Upon speaking to the fireman of the loco I found they had done the same thing earlier at the Yacht Club crossing as well.

With some younger members we seem to have a belief that they can do anything and go anywhere and do anything irrespective of either their age or ability just because they are members!! In some cases this I blame on what they have been told by other members.

So there you have it 3 posts covering a typical miserable cold bank holiday, roll on next weekend!!

Winter in spring (So Nathan reckons)!!!!!

Well it was a tad on cool side today, Nathan reckoned it was cold!! You wait until he has done a weekend in winter then he will know it’s cold.

Cold wind today kept the locals away from their normal cups of coffee and ice cream etc.

But it blew in the passengers and we had an excellent day ticket wise. Despite late running to start but time was made up in the end I am pleased to say so all was well that ended well.

Got to the station just after 9am and Nathan was already there waiting for me, I was amazed, rare anybody beats me to the station in the morning.

No outstanding things passenger wise but we just had some really nice people in and it made the day a pleasure.

Shame the tickets I ordered came via another station where they were sent by mistake, but you can’t win them all.

Had the carriage boards arrive today from the Pines Express, we are going to mount them on the wall and do a display of pictures of the event, Picture will be posted when it’s all done.

Sue my wife is with me tomorrow helping so will have to be on my best behaviour!!

Well that was unremarkable

Not an exactly an exciting day today, quiet as it was not the weather to walk by the river with heavy showers forecast through the day, which I have to say have yet to arrive!

What is it about old railway magazines that makes people think we want them? Speaking for my station I can’t shift them at all. In simple terms THERE IS NO INTEREST, and bringing in a couple of carrier bags with the remark “I have some rubbish for you” does not get you off to a good start either. Neither does the comment “people want them”, if they did then why are you giving them us?

I bet you could like a decent sized bonfire with the magazines that nobody wanted that are spread across the railway. In the days of the internet being used for spreading information few people want old often damp dusty smelling magazines. Stick them in the green recycle bin or burn them, but don’t expect to dump them with me as I will not take them.

Right I feel better with that off my chest, not exactly over run with passengers or cafe customers today, but there are two more days left so great things may happen who knows?

Paddy with me today and he bought with him the knack of getting lumbered with the people who want to spend an hour or so wittering on about all things railway, which was good as he kept them away from me!

Highlights of the day:-

Do you sell ice creams? from a woman as she was looking in the ice cream freezer.
Does this timetable have the train times in?
Black coffee please, then the chap put milk and sugar in it!

So there you have it a quiet unremarkable Saturday, roll on Sunday!!!

Pines Express Day

Well today was the pines express day on the railway, and we did not get off to a good start.

Firstly on arriving at Ferry Meadows we could not open the door, shame nobody had told us the lock had been replaced!  A good example of poor communications.It did not help either that it was raining!

But we got in eventually and opened for business, but things did not look good with the weather. But the gods were with us and it got better and drier as the day went on.

One of the locomotives in operation was the J94 which is a super little engine here is a picture of it double heading with the 4F which was one of the others in steam.

100_0626As you can see at that time it was not an ideal day for photography.

Highlight of the day was the non-stop pines express run from City centre to Yarwell. You can see a video of it passing through Ferry meadows by clicking this link Pines Express Video It was a choice between a picture or a video of the event and I opted for a video.

Takings were not bad but would have been better with a brighter start., Young Nathan who helped the wife and myself arrived a little on the damp side as you can see here.


But he was still cheerful despite the look on his face when the picture was taken! He enjoyed himself as well which is a bonus as special events can be a thankless task sometimes.

Being at a different station is always enjoyable as each station has a different type of passenger, Ferry meadows relies for most of it’s business on the local caravan club site, and generally they are on holiday and looking to enjoy themselves and it’s always a bonus when they get off the train smiling and say they enjoyed the journey, it is one of the reasons why I enjoy working at a station.

Back to my own station next Saturday when we have 3 days of services so looking forward to that.

All in all a really enjoyable but tiring day.

Wake us up when the train arrives

Quiet day today even though the weather was not too bad.

Day started with a chap and a young child coming out of the bushes about 100 yards of the end of the platform with the chap helping the child to balance as they walked along the rail. When they spied me on my way towards then they quickly disappeared. Shame really I would have enjoyed dealing with that.

Change of scenery tomorrow for the Pines Day special event, we are running Ferry Meadows again so that will make a change, not really planned as did intend to take the wife on the Pines Express, but as the FM staff declared themselves not available we have to open the station instead as it can’t be closed on an important special event day. I owe the wife a big favour for this.

So now to get ready for hopefully a busy day tomorrow…

Watch this space as they say.

It kept the till warm

Well another excellent day especially with shop sales, amazing what a bit of sunshine will do towards people spending money.

Nathan with me again, and I am pleased to say he is developing into a really useful member of staff, quick to learn, and he likes chatting to the Anoraks which gives him a few brownie points as they don’t badger me.

Ice cream sold as if there was going to be a national shortage of the stuff, which is very pleasing, stock sent out to the other stations as well during the day so kept very busy.

No real highlights to the day which one of the most enjoyable of the year, decent customers and decent weather who could ask for more!!

1+1 = 3 or thereabouts!!

Well we had it all today, sun, two train service and two people helping me.

Both steam and diesel running today which was a welcome bonus, Had Stephen and Nathan with me, it was Nathans second day and Stephens first.

Both did well considering we had a till that jammed early on, thankfully we could get the money out, so one call to Wansford and another working till arrived. Bit more flash than the old one with oodles of buttons and bleeps. But it works and both of my helpers went solo on it, so it can’t be that hard. Shame their maths skills leave a bit to be desired, but that seems to be a mark of the current educational system.

As always trains were late but they improved as the day went on, never easy to pick up time on a pink service.

Ice cream went out of the door at a steady rate and so did bottled drinks. Not much in the way of chocolate though.

Highlights of the day.
Dougie the guard who is always happy.
Credit card slips finally arrived which put us in a state of shock
Nice customers all round with not a miserable one in sight which makes a change.

Nathan is with me tomorrow again and will I am sure make a valuable member of the team.

Danger men at work

Work week this week and spent the day at my station so the civils could have hot drinks, it was nice to watch others work.

Here is a picture of them in action.

civils They even worked up a sweat at one stage.

Got lot’s of paperwork done and dusted so all in all a good day. Had time to take a few pictures around the station as well, here is one of the flowers in front of the signal box.


Next there with them on Wednesday as business commitments stop me going down on Tuesday

So more reports from the cutting edge of railway maintenance then.

Who turned the heating off?

What a difference 24 hours makes, yesterday was quite warm and today was to put it mildly darn cold with sunshine!

Quiet start to the day as we eased Nathan into the Arkwright way of doing things. No great rush just a steady flow of people through the door, which was good as a very busy day would have made it harder for him to pick things up and I would have had less time to run through things. As it was the lad did well, he is good with customers, pleasant, neat & tidy and most important keen and quick to learn. As he picks it all up and gets into the swing of things he will be a valuable member of the team.

Customer wise nice to see more of last years regulars returning now we have a shiny ball up in the sky again. Tickets were disappointing but shop sales this weekend have been excellent. Ice cream will have to be ordered again as we are running low of some of the items.

Highlights of the day…..

One incident of track trespass, which was dealt with as always by words of advice, and they were then sent on their way.

But the most important thing was that every service was on time, we were amazed as it rarely happens that ALL were on time, still can’t complain as it may be an experience that will not happen again this year!!!!

So there you have it, all in all a decent day. This coming week is works week and the civils will be down working each day, I will be there to sort out refreshments etc, but will not be open to the public.

Watch this space for daily updates on the work week.