Alstone Quay (O:16.5)

The Story behind the model

Of course a purely fictitious name for a small quay somewhere in the south west. This small branch was opened in the 1890s. However, the exact date been lost in the local archives that were destroyed in a fire in 1925

The narrow gauge branch linked a small fishing village with the local standard gauge about 7 miles away.

At the turn of the century there was a quite a large fleet of small fishing boats that needed its catch to get to market in the local towns. Alstone Quay was on the north side of a peninsula off the Atlantic coast, the main larger quay, Chebstone Quay, being on the south side of the peninsula.

The processing of the fish, mainly sardines, required canning, so a small canning factory was set up in Alstone Quay to serve both quays.

Well that’s the history, but moving forward to the 21st century, the line has a new future in that it has become a tourist attraction. The local mainline was of course a victim of a certain Dr Beeching and fishing practices had moved on using road transport. However, a small number of local fishermen are once again fishing the local seas to supply the ever increasing demand for organic and traditional ways of sustainable fishing.

One of the original reasons for the narrow gauge railway was the difficult terrain of the peninsula and that has not changed, so the catch from Chebstone Quay is still transported by narrow gauge railway to Alstone Quay for processing.

But now we have tourist using the line to supplement the income.

And now details about the layout……..

The baseboards were built some 10 years ago as a extension to my existing 0:16.5 layout, Ecclestone, which appeared at a number of local exhibitions in the late ’90s.

Track was laid (Peco 0:16.5) and ballasted and it was then that I realised the track plan was a mirror image of Ecclestone and was not happy to proceed with the extension.

At that stage the layout boards were stored…

My modelling had moved on with involvement with Stafford Railway Circle’s layouts  Littleton Parkway (OO) and Seagone (0:16.5) and a new personal layout, Ecclestone Manor (Gn15). However even after selling a large quantity of narrow gauge kits and Ecclestone I had still maintained enough stock for Seagone, so why not use those stored boards built back in the last century for Alstone Quay?

The layout we see today is  set around the August Bank holiday in 1965 where we see a mixture of freight traffic (fish normally during the week) and tourist traffic at the weekends.

Any Alstone Quay exhibition bookings are shown in our Events Calendar page.

You can download a copy of the Exhibition Manager’s details for this layout if you click here.

Owner: Terry Robinson