Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Mixed Traffic Reminder

Just a reminder that the 'Mixed Traffic Gala' is this weekend - 2nd/3rd April (both days).

The loco allocation/roster is now up on the working timetable.

In addition, the following link will take you to the main event page on the official website, which gives the full list of attractions available (much more than just the trains - the shed tours (limited availability) are particularly unusual at the NVR but there is much else besides).

This event has undergone some changes to the locomotives since being originally advertised. Barring anything unforeseen, the steam fleet is now set as BR '5MT' 73050, '4F' 44422, Austerity 0-6-0ST No.22, and Polish 0-8-0T No.5485. The latter will be on the lovely 1930s Belgian SNCB coaches all day, the event is a good opportunity to experience travel in these.

Please note that Class 40 D306 will sadly not now be available but Class 31 31108 and Class 14 D9520/No.45 will be used from the diesel fleet.

73050 will share passenger duties on the BR Mk1 rake...

...with Fowler 4F No.44422.

'Austerity' 0-6-0ST No.22 will be on the goods wagons, which make fabulous clanging and rumbling noises as they are pushed around and bump into each other.

Polish 0-8-0T will be on the 1930s SNCB 'Corporate' set as seen here (take the opportunity to ride on these special coaches, they are much nicer in my view than the basic, Danish (DSB) green set).

Class 31 31108 will be on the TPO demonstration runs in operation during this event. This loco was featured in the recent 'Eastenders' level crossing drama.

Finally, Class 14 D9520/Corby Quarries No.45 will be making a light engine move to Peterborough (NV) at 9.20am. At 10.25am it will leave Peterborough with the goods wagons, arriving back at Wansford at 10.55am. After this run, D9520 will work shuttles through the tunnel to Yarwell Junction, using the SNCB rake and giving No.5485 a breather.

We very much hope to see you there!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Wednesday at Wansford

Recent 'Before and After' pictures of the loco siding at Wansford...

The view from the car park at Wansford until recently. 'Kriegslok' and other shabby engines resembling a scrap line - welcome to the NVR!

Much better - the 'B' Class undergoing cosmetic restoration when weather and volunteer labour allows.

The cafe extension is progressing well, utilising old platform canopy supports as part of the construction.

Blast from the past - 5MT 73050 was in the workshop being worked on when I visited, alongside were the old cabsides it wore when it was in BR Green livery many years ago.

The restoration of the TASC 45 machine is just about there. The tipper body has been refurbished and mounted back on the vehicle.

This will be a very useful tool for various civil engineering jobs around the railway. A lot of credit is due to the volunteers who have seen this through to completion.

Tim's brake continues to make excellent progress. Sadly his page on Fotopic is down (Fotopic has mysteriously disappeared at present, but I will keep the links on the right-hand side of this page for the time being in case it comes back). The lookout duckets have now been installed into the bodyside.

Also in the yard is Ian's Southern Railway brake van No.55550 which has seen attention from a paintbrush after extensive timber and solebar repairs. It also has new flooring and stepboards. I just need to find some time to improve the operational wagons to go with these brake vans!

The other SR vehicle at Wansford, TPO No.4920, has seen the completion of its heavy clean. Its looking a darned sight better than it did. A start has been made on the neighbouring BR Mk1 coach that forms the TPO second-hand bookshop, but this coach is in more poorly condition and may be replaced before long.

Loco and C&W Shed tours should be in operation during the Steam Gala on 2nd/3rd April, so if you want to see some of the hidden aspects of the railway come along for a good day out and a nosey behind the scenes!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Comings and Goings

Apologies for the lack of updates over the last couple of weeks - I've just had too much going on to even call by for a visit!

The 'Kriegslok'...

...has gone! The concrete for the foundations in the foreground has been poured too, and even the weather has got better!

Fowler '4F' 44422 has now returned from work undertaken at Crewe over the winter, and is now reunited with its tender that stayed on the NVR during this period. We're all very pleased to see her back, a really lovely engine and due to take part in the 'Mixed Traffic Gala' on 2nd/3rd April. An interesting set of pictures showing her journey back from Crewe can be seen here.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Mixed Traffic Gala: 2nd & 3rd April

On the weekend of 2nd and 3rd of April, the railway is holding a 'Mixed Traffic Gala', with all available Locomotives in service. From the steam fleet this should include BR Standard '5MT' 73050, Fowler '4F' 44422, 0-6-0ST 'Austerity' No.22, and Polish 0-8-0T No.5485. Diesels in operation should be the popular 'Type 4'/Class 40 D306, at least one of the Class 14s, and Class 31 31108. Sadly at present it seems that the hoped-for guest steam locomotive will not be paying a visit, however this event is a rare chance to sample much of the operational home fleet over one weekend!

The following attractions will also be available over the weekend:

Freight Train in operation

Travelling Post Office in operation

Mail Exchanges at Sutton Cross at 12.51

Mail exchanges at Yarwell from 13.00 - 13.30 & 15.00 - 15.30

Steam Crane in operation at Wansford (Display Saturday/Operation Sunday Only) - crane demonstrations have not been seen at Wansford for several years.

Vintage vehicles & buses

Shed tours of Locomotive Shed and Carriage and Wagon department - as far as I am aware, this is something we have not really done before, so please come along to support us!

Lineside Passes

Intensive Timetable

Mark 1 carriages & SNCB set (the attractive 1930s Continental coaches, as seen externally in the recent Poirot 'Murder on the Orient Express') in operation.

Club Car in operation (supplementary fare applies, limited places available, please see the main NVR website:

Trade Stalls, including:

Somerset and Dorset Heritage Trust
M&B Models Model Railway Specialist
Battle of Britain Locomotive Society
International Railway Preservation Society
Renown & Repulse Group

7 1/4 Gauge Class 14 Locomotive (DISPLAY ONLY)

Other attractions to be confirmed.

Please note, Special Fares will apply for this event.

Link to Working Timetable.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Wash and brush up

Efforts are being made to tidy up Wansford station site to give a better impression to visitors - more volunteers would be very welcome to help with this, no special skills are required but it makes a huge visual difference to the place. All you need is to be a NVR member. Here we see 0-6-0ST 'Jacks Green' after being scrubbed up to meet his visitors - a big improvement. The face is not always present - it tends to be put in place for 'Thomas' events as our younger visitors recognise the engine as a cheeky green 0-4-0ST from the Rev. Awdry's stories. Longer term, it would be nice to see this engine return to the authentic light green it wore in service at Nassington ironstone quarry, a truly local locomotive. It is a sister engine to 'Ring Haw', also preserved and currently restored to operating condition at the North Norfolk Railway.

As a comparison, here is an earlier shot of 'Jacks Green' last year before cleaning. It shines now!

Sister loco 'Ring Haw' at Sheringham, North Norfolk Railway, in authentic Nassington livery. Could 'Jacks Green' look like this one day?

More panels of the Southern Railway TPO No.4920 have been washed and T Cut, quite a difference to its appearance of the last few years as can be seen when compared to the panels not yet done on the right. The 'Night Mail' project aims to provide desperately required covered accommodation for all the TPO vehicles and the two Wagon-Lits cars on the railway. The work will be done in a phased way, modifications to the trackwork at Ferry Meadows to allow rail access to the site are planned this Easter as a first step.

View from the ground of 4920. The metal sheeting really requires repair/replacement due to corrosion, but this will have to wait until manpower is available. However this major clean up helps its appearance a lot for now. Using T cut/general cleaning has been recommended rather than a quick repaint, because it will make life easier when full restoration work of the bodysides (needed quite soon) is carried out.

Comparison shot of 4920 before work started. The battered and bruised trolley in the foreground was removed from public view some months ago for restoration, I am pleased to report that its restoration is now very nearly complete!

The distinctive headlamp has been refitted to the Swedish 'B' class
4-6-0. It appears to have been designed to assist trainspotting at night, which is most thoughtful.

The new 'Nord Express' line up in the late afternoon sunshine. Quite an improvement on the jumble of tatty withdrawn locomotives that were in this prime location until a few weeks ago...

The previous arrangement, seen here one year ago almost to the day. Have I really been doing this that long?!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Halfway there...

For the first time in months I have been able to spend a few hours volunteering! Even more amazingly, my visit coincided with gorgeous sunny weather so I was able to progress the first topcoat of 'Vanfit' B759852. It is lovely to finally be spending time improving its appearance - until today, every session so far had made it look worse cosmetically, as it underwent the process of plank replacement and patch repainting.

The ends have been left for a later date.

I got as far as the door centre line today, another productive afternoon will see the other half completed.

There were quite a few changes on site that I noticed today, I will upload photos of these during the week whenever I have time.