Wansford station is the headquarters for the Nene Valley railway and is situated about 7 miles (11 km) west of Peterborough near the terminus.
I booked a train ticket with East Coast trains to Peterborough a few months earlier while the prices were low for todays ( 2nd October ) Diesel Gala event.
Readers of this blog will know that I occasionally follow the Class 37 locomotive for nostalgia and travel variety purposes. I didn't know whether the 'on loan' class 37 was going to operate as the locomotive roster was not available at the time of booking, so I was prepared for a day out in Peterborough (afternoon trip - blog post part 2 ). It so happened that the locomotive in question was elsewhere on other duties but the railway managed to invite another one for the event the Severn Valley railway in Shropshire / Worcestershire. It has since moved to pastures new in Devon.
The small country village of Wansford although a little picturesque in parts, is not that significant with a church and a few hotels. As I was on a tight schedule, I apologise that I didn't have time to walk into the village from the station to photographically document it for you (Google images may satisfy your curiosity on that one). There were however a few nearby houses of interest.
The delightful peaceful scene of relaxation above..... 'dreaming' .......... about living in a house in the country is matched by........turning my camera 90 degrees to the right and observing the temporary NVR car park !! .....
The section of railway that the NVR now owns was originally opened in 1845. Wansford station grew in importance towards the latter half of the 19th century when more railway lines were constructed nearby and it became a significant railway junction.
Consequently the signal box and station buildings are in various stages of preservation.
Some parts of the building are in good condition whilst others seem to require the services of a structural engineer....
|"Leaning door of Wansford"|
Unfortunately as with most country railways in Great Britain, the line closed to passenger traffic in 1964 and was one of the last railways to be closed by the infamous government assistant "anti train / pro car" Dr Beeching. Freight services continued up to 1972 when the railway was finally closed.
It didn't take long before plans were in place to purchase the railway in 1974 and it took another three years hard work to re-establish a passenger train.
There was initially a problem with purchasing suitable locomotives and coaches, so the railway took an unusual step of using something a bit more continental and the first train was operated by a French and Swedish engine.
As the railway expanded, the scene became a little confused with a mixture of everything European which in a sense became a blessing in disguise as the railway is often chosen for appropriate TV and film dramas such as the remake of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. The railway finally reached Peterborough in the east during 1986 with a short extension west of Wansford to Yarwell in 2007.
I found the morning in Wansford quite photographically interesting as I showed extreme patience in waiting for the specific locomotive on the left to come out of the engine shed and work a train.
Meanwhile, It was an ideal opportunity to get an early lunch and make sure that I spoke nicely to the cook in the station restaurant.
On days like this, I often share my journey with unusual and bizarre passengers but as fate would have it, I was more worried that my destination was not going to be Peterborough !! ...