Wansford Station is the headquarters of the Nene Valley Railway. The station brings together three forms of transport in one location, with the River Nene being separated from the railway by the "Old Great North Road". Check out our 360 tour before you visit - click the button below.
The station building was officially opened in late 1995. It houses the booking office, shop and cafe. The general office and a conference room are on the first floor and can be booked for various functions. Toilets, including an accessible toilet with baby changing facilities, are also located within this building.
The Barnwell Station Building sits on Platform 2. It is called this because it was moved from Barnwell Station to the NVR on April 5th 1977. The building was constructed in 1884 for use by members of the Royal Family when visiting Barnwell Manor, home of HRH Duke of Gloucester. The waiting room in the Barnwell Station Building can be hired for meeting and coporate functions.
The orginal station building on Platform 3 was built in 1844/5 for the opening of the line. Constructed in a Jacobean style, it features ornate stone masonry. The NVR has recently acquired this building and will renovate it for use by the NVR and local community.
The signal box was built in 1907 by the London & North Western Railway to replace three smaller boxes. It was originally fitted with 60 levers and is one of the largest preserved signal boxes in its original location. Just beyond the signal box is the River Nene and flood plains, which are spanned by a bridge and viaduct.
The signal box controls the level crossing gates over the "Great North Road". Until 1959, when the A1 bypass was built, all the traffic along the A1 would have had to pass over this level crossing.
The Miniature Railway is based at Wansford Station, just behind the Miniature Railway & Wagon Group Shop (which is where you purchase your ticket to travel on the Miniature Railway). The 5” Gauge railway runs along the side of the car park and offers train rides to both adults and children alike. It operates steam and battery electric locomotives. It boasts two stations, a turntable, a locomotive shed, goods sidings, signals, and everything else which is mainline in miniature. A small charge is made for a ticket to travel on the Miniature Railway. It is these ticket sales and any donations which keep the Miniature Railway running.
The picnic area at Wansford is open all year round. Sitting at one of the picnic tables, you can watch the signalman operating the box at Wansford while the trains pass over the river, bridge and viaduct. It’s a great location for taking photographs, especially during one of the galas when there is a lot of shunting activity at Wansford. Ducks and swans make this area their home, so be sure to bring some appropriate food for them.
Our children’s play area was opened in 2002 with the aid of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and is available all year round. The playground is located near to the car park entrance.
The turntable, located behind the new station building, was built by Ransomes & Rapier of Ipswich in 1933. Originally 60 feet long, it was installed at Bourne in Lincolnshire for use on the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway. In 1959, Bourne shed closed and the turntable was moved to Peterborough East, its last duties being to turn Travelling Post Office (TPO) coaches for use on the East Anglian TPO.
In 1977 the turntable was moved to Wansford where it was extended to 76 feet and re-commissioned in September 1978. The turntable has been in use ever since to turn locomotives and carriages at the NVR. Famous locomotives turned on the turntable include:
NVR is home to an enthusiastic group of modelers who have transformed a BR Mk2e FO ex-"London's Burning" coach (W3227) over the last 7 years into a large model railway that can be found on Platform 4.
Our Study Centre was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund after being promoted by a small but dedicated group of NVR members.
The purpose of this building is to allow the railway’s Education Department to promote the organisation as a learning tool for school-age children. However, its use is not solely confined to children and education, as it is available to the wider community for meetings, presentations, corporate use, seminars and, most importantly, to allow the railway’s museum team to display some of its many artefacts, photographs and archives.