Thursday, 3 May 2012

Please alight here...

The blogsite that hosts this blog has recently undergone changes and for me, become pretty much unusable when trying to upload photos. Therefore I am starting afresh on a new site, the address of which is

This site will still remain available to view as an archive (although no longer updated), and a permanent link is in the “Links” section in the sidebar on the right-hand side as well as on this posting. However all new updates will appear on the new site instead – apologies for the inconvenience, please update your bookmarks accordingly and I hope you will continue to follow the regular unofficial updates from the Nene Valley Railway.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

All Change!

No railway-based blog would be complete without a railway-based pun - so the title of this post should fulfil the criteria! I am pleased to report that the collection box for the NVR Wagon Group is now up and running, located on the platform at Wansford. Your donation, large or small, would be much appreciated and help make a visible difference to the restoration of our historic wagon fleet.

In the meantime, please follow the link to the latest wagon restoration news update:

Monday, 16 April 2012

Foreign bodies

SNCB coach No.21033 continues to undergo full body overhaul in the carriage shed. Tim Hobman sent the above photo a couple of weeks back, showing the start made on reinstating the roof ventilators. It can also be seen that the roof has undergone further preparation work for repainting.

The lower bodyside on the north side has now been completely cut away, and a considerable area of paintwork on the upper section has been laboriously removed.

The roof has now been given a coat of white primer.

The IRPS gang have been working like demons on the ‘new’ Swedish railcar, the interior has been stripped out and the bodywork is receiving welded repairs and some new exterior sheeting.

The eastern end is now in green primer, and looking considerably better than when it arrived.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wagon Group Update

A brief wagon news update is now available on the Wagon Group website:

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

BR Mk1 TSO 4466

As promised in the previous posting, here is a selection of images I have been sent from other working members. First up, Allan Nunn has very kindly sent through the following images of his Mk1 coach No.4466 in the final stages of its complete overhaul:

The side away from the running line is now complete including the paint to the final door (nearest the camera), and lining out, all it requires is some touching up in places.

The 'public' running line side has seen its final top coats applied, although it still requires lining out.

The first transfers have gone on, giving the coach its identity for the first time during the overhaul. However I am told that more work is required on these.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Wagon Group Update

The latest wagon news update is now available on the Wagon Group website:

As a footnote, I am still incredibly busy away from the railway, but the end is finally in sight! If I am lucky I may get a chance to make a working visit around Easter. In the meantime some other working members have provided me with photo updates, which I will upload onto here over the next few days or so when I get a chance.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Hidden Gems

Due to a house move and work commitments, visiting NVR/wagon restoration has had to be put on the back burner for the last few weeks – hence the lack of updates recently. I hope to resume normal service as soon as possible!

We were however able to call in briefly last Sunday on our way up the A1 to visit "Rocks by Rail" (formerly Rutland Railway Museum), to examine some stock there. It is rare that I am at the Peterborough end of the line, and rarer still that I am in the secure fenced compound behind the station - so here are a few photos of some of the stock that can be found there, all of which is awaiting restoration work to varying degrees.

First up is P143288, a private-owner ironstone hopper. Its condition is not too bad, although the headstocks (bufferbeams) need dropping out and replacing, plus some other repairs. The livery is not thought to be original to this wagon.

In direct contrast is this wagon, No.P208445. It is believed it is the same type as the ironstone hopper above (clearly cut down, in industrial service at British Sugar?), but it is in extremely poor condition and is about to fall apart at the seams.

Also in a precarious state is this, LNWR gunpowder van No.11023.

Another LNWR vehicle is No.36993 (this is its LMS number, its original LNWR number is unknown). Later it entered departmental stock as DM395361 as a 'Pooley van' for servicing weighing machines across the railway network.

One of the vehicles in better condition is LMS open wagon No.237950. This one may be a candidate for restoration to running condition before too long, although we need to finish our current projects first...

...however these two 'vanfits' may be in front of it in the overhaul queue.

This is LMS CCT No.37066, which featured in the circus train for the James Bond film "Octopussy". It still retains the modifications made to it for the filming, such as the ribs to the roof, personnel doors in each end, grab rails on the side, and a hatch in the roof.

Finally is Danish compound 'Pacific' No.996. Something of an ugly machine in my view, lacking the grace of the Swedish 'B' class 4-6-0, the Victorian elegance of the Danish 'F' class 0-6-0T ("Tinkerbell") or the rugged good looks of the German Class 64 2-6-2T, all resident at Wansford. Note the colours of the Danish flag around the chimney, something (I believe) all Danish locos carry.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

SNCB 21033: Update 1

Here are a few photos from the Carriage Shed a couple of weeks ago, showing then-current progress on SNCB (Belgian) coach No.21033...

The vast majority of the roof has now been sanded back.

New metal has now been let into the end of the coach, formed into a compound curve to match the original shape of the roof. I would've liked to have been around when this happened, to see how it was done!

The lower bodyside rivets on the north side have been cut, ready to remove the side sheets. Like sister coach No.21013 (outshopped last year), it appears that the sheeting on the top half does not require complete replacement.

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.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Beginning of the End

It is pleasing to see that the last coach in the Belgian rake requiring major exterior work (No.21033) has found its way into the Carriage & Wagon shed, following completion of repair and repainting works to the roof of BR Mk1 SK E25347. Work to 21033 will most likely follow a similar path to SNCB 21013, restored during 2010/11 with progress charted on this blog (see Archives, right). Once No.21033 is completed in a year or two, it is expected that the Belgian rake should last in good condition for several years to come, and attention can then focus on the railway's collection of BR Mk1 coaches.

In time it is hoped to build up a second Mk1 rake in BR Maroon, which can operate alongside the existing "Blood and Custard" Mk1 rake and allow the necessary withdrawal of the rapidly-deteriorating green 'DSB' (Danish) stock. More volunteers in the Carriage Department would really speed progress on the carriage fleet, so if you fancy undertaking some engineering/restoration work in your spare time then please consider becoming a NVR member and lending a hand! No prior skill or experience necessary, and it fits in around your life rather than the other way around, being on an 'as and when' basis whenever you wish or as you are able.

Anyway, back to SNCB 21033. No time has been lost in removing the gangway ends and putting the overhead working gantry in place - the latter again proving its worth.

A small part of the rust affecting the bodyside can be seen here, along with the start being made on cutting the rivets to allow removal and replacement of the lower body panels.

Corrosion to the roof end has been cut out, ready to let in new metal that will need to be formed to the compound curve found here.

Approximately two-thirds of the roof has been sanded back so far.