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GALLERY: A47 Wansford Road station on the move ‘brick by brick’ to new home in Peterborough

Wansford Road station is to be re built at Railworld, Peterborough

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Brian Pearce, who founded Railworld Wildlife Haven, Peterborough, has described the challenges in moving redundant Wansford station ‘brick by brick’ to a new home. “It’s actually called the Wansford Road station but it’s on the A47 and built in the crazy times of the Victorians when they were building railways everywhere for no apparent reason,” he says.

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. Artist’s impression of what it will look like. 

“If you look back to 1845 and if you wanted to come to Peterborough you’d get the Birmingham to London train and then you would get up at Northampton and get the train to Peterborough.

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“Stamford felt they had been missed out with the Victorian rail bonanza and they wanted a station, they wanted a railway,” he says. “So, they ran one from Wansford to Stanford and it went through across the A47 at Wansford Road, and it also went across a cattle creek bridge which we’ve got here in the wildlife haven at Railworld.”

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

He says the Wansford station is to be moved and stored and re built at Railworld.

“Thanks to National Highways having it all dismantled, it’s being bought to Peterborough and stored ready for assembly as our main entrance to the Nene Valley Railway and the Railword Wildlife Haven,” he says.

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

“It’s going to take a few weeks to take it apart – it’s a big job. Everything has got to be marked up, everything has to be numbered and palleted, so it’s brought over in a safe storage area ready for assembly,” says Brian.

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

“It’s going to look absolutely brilliant, and we’re so pleased with it and ironically that cattle creek bridge we’ve got it as a mentioned in the Wildlife Haven and it’s going to be 300 metres away from the old station which it was on the old original line so it’s absolutely incredible.”

Jack Ford, site manager, said: “We have got to the point in which we’ve took the roofs off of all three of the buildings. The main building roof will be off later on today so next week we will be taking down the right-hand side of the of the building itself to gain access to the platform at the back.

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

“Once we get to the platform we’ll start taking the blue bricks on the left-hand side of the building behind me.”

He said his team has been given 8 weeks to take it down “and we’ve got six weeks after this to complete it which means we’re about we’re about roughly on target.”

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National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

All of this has come about, of course, after the Government agreed for a dual carriageway between the A1 at Wansford and Sutton (Peterborough).

The decision involves turning a 1.6 mile stretch of the A47 to dual carriageway.

And standing in the way of the improvements was Wansford Road station.

Nene Valley Railway and its neighbouring charity, Railworld Wildlife Haven worked, with support from National Highways, to save it.

A new charity ‘The Wansford Road CIO’ was formed to dismantle it and rebuild it on the banks of the River Nene in Peterborough at Railworld.

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Delayed by a few issues, including the need to relocate a population of pipistrel bats, work started to dismantle the station.

An ecologist has been retained to keep an eye on proceedings and watch out for the bats and other wildlife. As material is taken from the building, it is being transported, at night so as to reduce interference with traffic on the busy A47, to the Amco-Giffen compound at Railworld.

It’s expected that it’ll take some 8-10 weeks to complete the process.

The charity is comparing quotations for the rebuild which they say are “coming in higher than we expected and we’re looking at additional fundraising options.

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

National Highways lend a helping hand to move Wansford Road station on the A47 to a new home at Railworld, Peterborough. PHOTO: Terry Harris

“Our target is to have the building up by March/April next year but that (of course) does depend on many things – not just the money”.

Quotes for the rebuild have just been received and it is hoped that reconstruction can be complete in 2025, to coincide with the completion of the A47 dualling and with the 200th anniversary of the first public railway in the UK.

 

 

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