Monday, 11 May 2009

Trains and Narrowboats - What a World

There is now a new visitors mooring pontoon at Wansford, right across the road from the Nene Valley Railway (NVR).

It's possible to moor on the pontoon, which is large enough for two narrowboats, for up to 48 hours.

The access jetty is secure and padlocked. There is also a picnic bench (seen in the photo) and good car parking access.

The NVR runs for seven and a half miles between Yarwell Junction and Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. Its headquarters are based here at Wansford.                                                                              

British Rail closed the line in 1972.

In 1974, the line was privately purchased and a decision was taken to operate the line to the International Transit or 'Berne' loading gauge.

The new Wansford station building was officially opened in late 1995. It houses the railway's booking office, together with the NVR shop, cafe and toilets.


From the mooring, its possible to see the signal box in action and watch the trains cross over the Nene using the bridge.

The signalbox at Wansford was built in 1907 by the London & North Western Railway to replace three smaller boxes. The signalbox was originally built with 60 levers and is one of the largest preserved signalboxes in its original location.

The signalbox controls the level crossing gates over the "Great North Road" and until 1959, when the A1 bypass was built, all the traffic along the A1 would have had to pass over this crossing.

The old Wansford station is a Grade 2 Listed Building which now needs urgent repairs. 

It stands beside platform 3 of the Nene Valley Railway (NVR) but does not belong to the railway. 

The Nene Valley Railway Heritage Centre Group was set up in 2003 to rescue the old Wansford station building and provide a home for the Nene Valley Railway's growing collection of historic objects and information.


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