To mark its 50th anniversary, the Northampton & District Model Railway Club has built a layout of the town’s Victorian Castle Station, which was lovingly recreated by local railway enthusiast, Leslie Roy.

Northampton Castle Station-8

Leslie started work on his scale model of Castle Station in the loft of his Northampton home in the 1980s. His son, Timothy, donated the model to the club following his father’s death in June 2016.

The model was designed as a permanent layout in Leslie’s home, but the club has modified it to create a portable layout that can be used at club meetings and displayed at shows and exhibitions. Although the Club could not utilise the original baseboards or track that Leslie built, we have used all the buildings that he scratch built.

Northampton & District Model Railway Club Chairman, Les Pace said: “The layout is so well modelled we did not want it to be broken up or destroyed. We had to dismantle it very carefully and have kept it in storage ready for this moment.”

The layout is a scale model of Northampton’s Castle Station in the 1930s. It shows the area between Westbridge and Spencer Bridge and features buildings that were replaced in 1965. It is modelled in 00 gauge using Peco standard code 100 track and live frog points.

What makes the model special is the quality of the modelling and the attention to detail. Leslie studied art and was an avid railway photographer in the 1950s and ‘60s. As well as researching the station history, his model is based on photographs and actual measurements of buildings that he took before its demolition in 1965.

“The layout is beautifully modelled, and many of the buildings and signal boxes are fully detailed inside, as well as out,” said Les Pace.

“Leslie did not have enough space in his loft to model the entire station and its approaches. But the end result is a very pleasing and recognisable representation of the station’s main features from the junction with the Market Harborough branch in the north to the Blisworth Bay platforms in the south.”

Leslie’s original layout has been reduced to fit four 4ft x 2ft boards with two folding 6ft x 2ft fiddle yards at each end.

Leslie’s Castle Station took pride of place as the main exhibit at the Northampton & District Model Railway Club anniversary exhibition in 2019.

Click here to read a short history of Northampton's Castle Station and the coming of the railway.