STARS of prime time BBC TV soap EastEnders transformed a quiet Peterborough rail station into a stage as they filmed the latest scene of their current heart-stopping plot.
For the past two days, Wansford station on the Nene Valley Railway (NVR) has played host to two of the biggest stars of the hit soap EastEnders.
Charlie Brooks, who plays Janine Butcher, and Neil McDermott, who stars as Ryan Malloy, arrived late on Sunday with a crew of around 30 people.
Since then, the level crossing, close to the station, has been surrounded in mystery, as the show’s producers try to keep details of Janine and Ryan’s tumultuous love affair under wraps.
But our photographs hint that the plot may involve a nail-biting level crossing drama when the couple’s car becomes stuck on the tracks.
It is thought the scene could be screened in November.
After TV crews and the soap stars left the scene, NVR general manager Cris Rees was able to reflect on an exciting few days.
He said: “They came late on Sunday night to set up and they filmed on Monday and Tuesday. They were filming a scene on our level crossing, so they took our traditional gates and put half barriers with flashing lights up.
“Apart from the location, we have also provided a diesel engine and a freight train.”
The site has played host to stars of the small and big screen for years.
However, Mr Rees says it is always exciting when a film crew heads to the railway site.
He said: “I’ve been at the railway four years and I was excited when the first crew came in.
“It’s like watching paint dry for a lot of the time when they are filming, but then someone shouts action and everything rolls.”
He said the railway is so commonly used because it can be made to look like a number of different locations.
“The location manager for EastEnders has been here before and he loves the railway because the scenery is bland. You can be anywhere in the world here. It was Belgium for the recent visit by Poirot.
“I’m very much looking forward to seeing the EastEnders plot on television. Four of our staff have been used as extras, so they can’t wait either.”
ET reader Paul Savage, of Kingsline Close, Thorney, visited the film set after being tipped off by a pal and was able to take a few snaps of the stars.
He said: “It’s great for the area. It’s nice to see celebrities. It’s something I will remember.”
A publicist for the show declined to go into details about the storyline.
She said: “The location was chosen as it is a private railway station which enabled us to film with safety precautions in place. The gripping storyline, which features the characters Janine (Charlie Brooks) and Ryan (Neil McDermott), will be shown later this year.”
Nene Valley Railway on tv and film
THE two stars of EastEnders are the latest in a long line of celebrities to visit the Nene Valley Railway.
The railway’s history of ﬁlming goes back as far as 1978 and includes ﬁlms, TV series, pop videos, dramas, commercials and documentaries.
Among them are two James Bond films - Octopussy (1982), starring Roger Moore, and Goldeneye (1995), which saw Pierce Brosnan as 007.
More recently, hit TV shows Casualty (2003), Silent Witness (2004) and Dalziel and Pascoe (2005) have all had scenes on the railway.
Just two years ago, Hollywood stars Penelope Cruz and Daniel Day Lewis were among the stars of Nine who featured on the Nene Valley Railway.
And last year, it was murder mystery for super sleuth Poirot - played by David Suchet - who filmed the Murder On The Orient Express on the legendary railway.