Astbury Junction N Gauge

Updated January 2021

Jules Attard

The 1950’s early BR layout is set in a busy Northern town in the London Midland region. It is inspired by the lines of the former Cheshire Lines Committee, so motive power (all steam) is a mix of ex-LNER, LMS and BR Standards, with an occasional WR long-distance visitor.

The layout is a dumbbell-shaped continuous run, 3 x 1 m in total with a scenic area of 2 x 1 m. It is DCC throughout; except for the smaller tank engines and the Union Mills locos, most are also sound fitted. Rolling stock is a mix of ready-to-run and kits, predominantly freight serving the local goods yard and a nearby brewery, but with steady passenger traffic through the main ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ platforms as well as local traffic into a short bay. The station is on a diversionary route for the Marylebone-Huddersfield main line, so a diverted ‘South Yorkshireman’ can sometimes be seen.

Peppercorn A2 60537 ‘Bachelor’s Button’ pulls in with a diverted ‘South Yorkshireman’ to the Up platform. One passenger runs for the train: will he make it?

A visitor from the Western Region: 6856 ‘Stowe Grange’ leads a short rake of unfitted containers into the junction past the Astbury track maintenance shed.

A cricket match is in progress. Some of the visiting batsmen warm up in the nets, trying to ignore the distraction of Crewe-built G2 49368 pulling a long coal train just over the fence.

B1 61090 hauls a heavy oil train past the goods yard

A pair of Jintys and a Fairey Battle await their fate under the cutter’s torch.

Push-and-pull 2MT 41271 has just pulled into the bay platform, while sister 41234, still in early post-nationalisation livery, leads another push-pull unit past the Astbury Junction main box on the diverging Down line.

Ex-WD 2-8-0 passes the Astbury allotments with a long line of wagons from the Astbury sand pits.

A local taxi loiters, hoping to pick up a fare from an early-evening Down arrival.

Perhaps the passengers waiting for the next trolleybus should pass the time in one of the many pubs Astbury offers?

Away from the railway, the town of Astbury is a thriving town serving the local industries of sand extraction and brewing.

The crew of ex-Midland 3F 43214 grab a cuppa outside the goods yard mess room (a grounded ex-North Staffs coach) while waiting for their next turn.