The town of Chester’s Field is in the north east of Derbyshire, whilst with Roman origins it was further developed around a Middle Age church with a twisted spire. The local area is rich in minerals which at the dawn of the industrial revolution exploded with manufactories making all types of machinery, iron bridges and large structures. The several coal mines, iron foundries and boiler makers helped the area to grow well into the late 19th century.
The Railway arrived in about 1855 at Chester’s Field, Spires Road station, initially as a secondary route to the west of the older Midland line from Nottingham to Rotherham. It runs between Belper Junction, South Normanton and Eckington, eventually joining the branch from Beighton to Sheffield, with Chester’s Field some 5 miles to the south west of Staveley, which housed both Midland and Great Northern locomotive sheds.
An alternative Great Central route to Sheffield joined just to the south of Spires Road but, instead of building a separate station, had running powers through Spires Road. Both companies ran to the steel city’s Victoria and Pond Street stations.
The layout is set in early autumn 1959, with trains from both the Midland and Eastern region. The area is still very industrial as can be seen by steel, gasification plant and power stations. However, the town has now become quite run down and subject to extensive mining subsidence. In late 1958 the lines north of Spires Road station were “temporally” abandoned due to problems in both Spires and Nether Thorpe tunnels. It is expected to reopen as a single line in 1960. The line to the south had already short section singled in 1942 and remains so as far as Mansfield Junction, the Midland/Great Northern junction. This section has been a problem for a long time and it is only the heavy industry in the area that has kept the line open.
Even so, reasonable services for passenger still remain to Spires Road, utilising the new Diesel Multiple Units as well as some steam hauled coaching stock. Goods trains support the local yard and the still very busy Engineering works; DERBYSHIRE BRIDGE. Parcels traffic is spasmodic but hopefully will grow due to the recent arrival of the “Commonwealth and Greatwood” Mail Order Company.
Inevitably, an early passenger closure notice for Eastern trains has been issued for Sunday 26th March 1960. A reduced Midland region passenger service as well as Goods, Parcels and some excursion traffic will remain.
The Layout – Gauge “OO” with Fine Scale code 75 track, signalled throughout using both working semaphore and colour lights.
Motive Power – Steam and (Green) Diesels from both Midland & Eastern Regions.
Passenger Stock – Early DMUs, steam hauled local and occasional longer distance trains.
Freight Stock – Loose coupled wagons, Welltrols & Lowfits for Bridge component, Engineers trains, Parcels and Fitted Vans. Powerful Locomotives are sometimes required by the steel and coal trains to get up the 1 in 120 grade that starts to the south of the station.
It normally requires three/four people to operate under show conditions. It is transported in an estate car with further transport required for the operators.
Owned by David Ford via an email contact address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any Spires Road 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: David Ford