Saturday, 18 February 2012

Winter Wonderland

The snow and freezing weather last week was extremely uncomfortable and messed up many finely-made plans - but it also made the vistas around Wansford incredibly beautiful. Whilst the NVR isn't in the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District, the expansive water meadow/arable landscape of the area has its own scenic charm, especially towards the western end of the line as seen here.

It was so cold last weekend that even the River Nene froze over. All the local waterfowl gathered at the only opening in the ice, seen here from the Wansford river bridge!

The cold also played havoc with train running that day. The coal loader could not be started, and frozen pipes on 'Standard 5' 73050 meant that it could not haul trains as planned. Class 14 D9520 ably filled the gap, although the failure of 73050 meant we were sadly denied the spectacle of steam in the snow with sunny blue skies.

Having been frozen by the short walk to examine LMS CCT No.37071, shelter was sought in the brake van with its extremely effective stove! Once we had thawed out a bit and could feel our toes again, we were able to undertake a little more work to 'Vanfit' B759852. The new planks were drilled and bolted through, and another old plank was prepared for removal as we'd discovered more rot since last time. Not clear in this view is the fact that we have a new workspace under cover in the open shed - no warmer than outdoors proper, but at least sheltered from the wind, rain, and snow. The roof of the van is also drying out nicely now it's out of the elements, so hopefully we will be able to recanvas the existing timber.

We then undertook a little tidying of various wagon spares we'd collected from around the site, before the dropping temperatures and failing light forced us to call it a day.