We have had an extremely busy and productive summer this year at Ferry Meadows.
Vegetation was cleared paralell to the main running line at the east end of the site to allow four track panels to be placed to create a headshunt. The work was asisted out by colas with one of their cranes who used the task as a training exercise for new operators. The machine was a great help and placed the heavy track panels in a matter of minutes. This headshunt requires fettling before it can be used which will be done over this winter.
The headshunt will allow shunting operations to happen within the Ferry Meadows yard without encroaching on the main line.
During this time a second siding was laid to form the second road in our planned carrige shed. Before this, donated tarmac planings from Bourges Boulevard in Peterborough were laid and rolled to form a level base for vehichle access. This meant when the lorries came to unload sleepers they could unload them in near to the track bed and when we were laying the track itself, machinery could access the track to assist. The sleepers were all kindly donated by Craig Owen and arrived by lorry on the 15th of July. The next week was spent levelling the ground and placing the sleepers with chains attached to an excavator.
Accurate levelling ensured the track was flat, however there is a slight gradient as the whole site is on a slope. This is not a problem as vehichles can be chocked to stop them rolling off down the line.
We had a series of open weekends this year on bank holidays. On these weekends we have the whole yard open for visitors to explore, pump trolley rides, minature railway rides and a track inspection vehicle you can operate. These events have proved popular and we hope to repeat them on a larger scale next year.
The most recent one was on the Tornado Bank Holiday weekend where new build 60163 'Tornado' visited along with 'N2' 1744 for a gala weekend. This was the fourth time tornado has visited and as usual drew large crowds.
Whilst work continued on the yard progress was made on the platform of Ferry Meadows. Two new holes were dug to hold two more supports which were placed at the end of August. Once the last column was in, work could start on the canopy roof. Steel kindly donated from A1 steel and timber from Andrews Building Supplies was made into a frame to support the roof and was placed on top of the columns and braketed to the station building wall.
More timber was used to make a basic roof which was then fibreglassed along with other timber roofs around the site. The canopy is a great asset to Ferry Meadows and now every station on the Nene Valley Railway has some form of shelter. The finer details are yet to be fitted including dagger boards which will give the canopy an authentic feel. We hope passengers will eventually not notice that the canopy isnt original.