About the prototype

In 1891 the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway proposed an east-west main line from Warrington on the Manchester Ship Canal to Sutton-on-Sea in Lincolnshire. As with many ambitious schemes of the time, the line was never completed due to a lack of funds and it never actually reached either of its proposed termini; the only part to see service was the section between Chesterfield and Pyewipe Junction, Lincoln. The model assumes that the original proposals had been successful and is our impression of what the eastern terminus may have looked like

Motive power

The period set for the model is the late 1950s to early 1960s, so motive power is predominantly steam, but with a few early diesels appearing from time to time. Stock is all provided by club members and must conform to strict standards of reliability. Locomotives are largely kit built and include examples from LNER classes A3, A5, B1, B17, C12, D11, F5, J11, J15, J39, J50, J52, K1, K3, N2, 04, V2 and V3 as well as BR standard types and the odd WD, Crab, or 4F.

Buildings and Structures

The main buildings on the layout are all based upon actual structures that existed along the LD&ECR: the goods shed is a copy of that at Ollerton; the signal cabin comes from Chesterfield, as do the main platform awnings; the loco shed is based on Langwith, and the water tank comes from Ollerton but with steel supports instead of a brick tower. The notable exception to this is the station building itself which is based upon Felixstowe Town on the GER, there being no suitable building on the LD&ECR. All the buildings are constructed from embossed plasticard, the main ones containing full interior detail and being illuminated by grain-of-wheat bulbs.


Trackwork is in 00 gauge finescale using SMP plain track with points hand built from code 75 bullhead rail and copper-clad sleepers. Point control is by Fulgurex motors and train control is by hand held Pentrollers. Automatic uncoupling is effected using Sprat and Winkle Line couplings and magnets.


Operation is time-accelerated and quite intense, with trains entering and leaving the station to a background of shunting and loco movements in the goods yard and motive power depot. Incoming and outgoing trains negotiate the complex trackwork at the entrance to the platforms, often passing each other. Locos follow up the stock they have just brought in which forms outgoing passenger trains, then go on-shed for turning and storage prior to their next turn.

Besides the main 2 track main line, a branch provides push-pull and DMU turns with the occasional local freight. Working level-crossing gates and turntable provide added interest.

Photos of Sutton

To gain a better appreciation of our Sutton layout, why not have a look at our photo gallery of Sutton here.