Long Sutton Junction

Scale/Gauge : 2mm N
Length : 12'
Width :   4' 6"

The group's N gauge Modern Image layout.

Features include a mainline with passing loops, and a high speed junction.

It consists of 3 scenic boards and 3 matching fiddle yard boards which also house the control panels and operating position.

The fiddle yard has recently  undergone redevelopment to increase capacity and improve reliability.

The History

Long Sutton Junction is the point at which the secondary line to Manchester leaves the former Midland main line from London to Sheffield.

Just below the junction are Long Sutton loops where generations of heavy freight trains have paused to allow passenger expresses to pass, and in the days of steam to ‘brew up’ before the long climb into the dales. Then they were headed by 8F or 9F heavy freight locos, now the ubiquitous class 66 ‘sheds’ haul most, though occasionally another class may appear.

The line is also a popular route for railtours, so loco hauled passenger trains are still seen here, including steam charters which are regularly filled as enthusiasts like to see their favourite ‘steeds’ worked hard tackling the climbs. This does mean that, since the water troughs were long ago removed, sometimes the loops are used to water locos and a tanker and fire appliance might be awaiting such an event.

Leaving the mainline on the branch the line crosses the viaduct and reaches Nether Padley station. The viaduct carries the line over Long Sutton beck and the canal, which prior to the coming of the railway, was the main method of freight transport in the area, carrying ore, limestone and coal to the steelworks and wool to the many mills. The railways took over this traffic and until the quarries became uneconomical and closed down, this and local passenger comprised the main revenue of the line.

Constantly under threat of closure, the line has had something of a resurgence lately as ‘new monied’ types from the city have moved outward seeking privacy and, much to the disgust of many of the locals, converted former agricultural buildings, village school, and even one of the local pubs to luxury dwellings. Indeed the area almost rivals Cheshire’s Golden Triangle in millionaires-per-square mile, so don’t be surprised if the station car park has the incongruous sight of a mark 1 Escort sandwiched between a Ferrari and a Porsche!

As city traffic has become ever more congested many of these new residents commute to their city offices which resulted in a need for a bigger car park, so the former goods yard was, as in so many other places, adopted.

Passenger services on the branch were long ago taken over by DMUs and are currently usually worked by class 158 units, though some longer distance services are operated by class 220/221 voyagers.