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This year the city’s celebrating 900 years of Peterborough Cathedral with a year long campaign called Peterborough Celebrates and Nene Valley Railway is playing its part by offering 900 free train rides!

Nene Valley Railway is a local gem, famous for great steam rides, Thomas the Tank Engine and has been a popular filming location since 1977.

On the weekend of March 17 and 18 the railway throws opens the doors for its ever-popular open weekend – giving visitors the chance to go behind the scenes and see how the NVR operates from day to day.

As part of the Peterborough Celebrates events those visiting the Railway’s Wansford headquarters will be entitled to free entry to the site plus a free complimentary ride on the shuttle service to Yarwell station and back.

Some of the other highlights of the weekend include:

  1. Shed tours to see the locomotives close up and the restoration process

  2. Signalbox tours

  3. Complimentary admission to Overton station and yard, including rides on the Garden railway,

  4. Pump Trolley rides and chance to visit the Travelling Post office coaches at Overton

  5. Trade stands and meet the volunteers

  6. Wansford Café open and Buffet car services

The lifeblood of the NVR has always been its dedicated volunteers; one such person is Nathan Wilson, who started volunteering in 2011 and has recently become the first nationally fully qualified boilersmith in 50 years.

Nathan told ESP:  “If anyone wants to join the Nene Valley as a volunteer I’d highly recommend it. It’s extremely rewarding and everyone makes you feel very welcome. When I joined I only intended on doing the footplate, but through challenging myself in the Engineering department, I’ve learnt many new skills and ended up making a career for myself out of it!

“There are many different aspects at the Railway – from operating the locomotives, to selling tickets, helping in the cafe, working with the museum team, operating the signal boxes, becoming a guard or travelling ticket inspector – there are so many different possibilities!

“Through joining the NVR I’ve made some brilliant friends, have learnt many new skills, and every day is different. If you’ve ever considered volunteering, it’s definitely very rewarding!”

For full details of the open weekend visit

For more on the Peterborough Celebrates campaign, the events already planned and how you can get involved too visit

Marc Hernandez


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