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Mid Suffolk Light Railway is a must for Kent railway enthusiasts planning a visit to East Anglia

Contributed by editor on Aug 12, 2018 - 02:15 PM

Looking down the line to the corrugated loco sheds  Photo: Dana Wiffen

 

By Dana Wiffen

For the fourth article in the current series of 'Lesser known Heritage Railways', this is a must for anyone from Kent that is planning a holiday in Suffolk or nearby in Norfolk.


This Heritage Railway has a unique ambience and oozes the history of a small rural railway of its time, and although short in length it makes up for this in character. The drive alone is wonderful to find this railway in the heart of Suffolk Countryside in Wetheringsett.

 

A loco taking on coal  Photo: Dana Wiffen

Brief History of the line

Building of The Mid Suffolk Light Railway started in 1902 with 19 miles of line from Haughley to Laxfield and 1.5miles from Kenton to the outskirts of Debenham. It was opened to goods traffic in 1904, and passengers in 1908.

 

In 1928 The London & North Eastern Railway took over The Mid-Suffolk Railway and it became became known as the 'Middy'.

 

The line from Dovebrook  Photo: Dana Wiffen

The LNER continued to operate it even though it lost most of its passenger traffic to improved roads and bus routes. The railway's busiest period was during WWII when it carried supplies for nearby RAF Mendlesham & Horham. The Middy eventually became part of British Railways in 1948, and as goods traffic reduced, it was eventually closed four and a half years later.

 

Loco and rolling stock at the end of the line  Photo Dana Wiffen

Heritage Line

It is now just a short stretch of line between Brockford in Wetheringsett & Dovebrook stations but offers visitors a ride that is full of atmosphere.

 

Although not built by Colonel Stephen’s it is typical of a budget railway built by him,  similar to Kent’s East Kent Railway and Kent & East Sussex Railway.

The Railway has similar station buildings and rolling stock, to what the Colonel would have built and has plans to extend their line another half mile towards Aspall Halt Station which would include a road crossing.

There are good on-site facilities at Brockford Station including a station cafe, real ale bar, shop, museum, and waiting room.

If you have not visited this great little railway you will not be disappointed if you journey into the lovely Suffolk countryside. Do however check opening times and days which are limited to Spring to Early Autumn mainly running on Sundays only.

Contact:
Brockford Station,
Wetheringsett,
Stowmarket,
Suffolk,
IP14 5PW

Tel 01449 766899

Email: secretary@mslr.org.uk

 

https://www.mslr.org.uk/
.

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© Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News 2003 - ;

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Footnote:

Mid Suffolk Light Railway is a must for Kent railway enthusiasts planning a visit to East Anglia

Looking down the line to the corrugated loco sheds  Photo: Dana Wiffen

 

By Dana Wiffen

For the fourth article in the current series of 'Lesser known Heritage Railways', this is a must for anyone from Kent that is planning a holiday in Suffolk or nearby in Norfolk.


This Heritage Railway has a unique ambience and oozes the history of a small rural railway of its time, and although short in length it makes up for this in character. The drive alone is wonderful to find this railway in the heart of Suffolk Countryside in Wetheringsett.

 

A loco taking on coal  Photo: Dana Wiffen

Brief History of the line

Building of The Mid Suffolk Light Railway started in 1902 and 19 miles of line from Haughley to Laxfield and 1.5miles from Kenton to the outskirts of Debenham. It was opened to goods traffic in 1904, and passengers in 1908.

 

In 1928 The London & North Eastern Railway took over The Mid-Suffolk Railway and it became became known as the 'Middy'.

 

The line from Dovebrook  Photo: Dana Wiffen

The LNER continued to operate it even though it lost most of its passenger traffic to improved roads and bus routes with their busiest period was during WWII when they carried supplies for nearby RAF Mendlesham & Horham. The Middy eventually became part of British Railways in 1948, and as goods traffic reduced, it was eventually closed 4 and a half years later.

 

Loco and rolling stock at the end of the line  Photo Dana Wiffen

Heritage Line

It is now just a short stretch of line between Brockford in Wetheringsett & Dovebrook stations but offers visitors a ride that is full of atmosphere.

 

Although not built by Colonel Stephen’s it is typical of a budget railway built by him,  similar to Kent’s East Kent Railway and Kent & East Sussex Railway.

The Railway has similar station buildings and rolling stock, to what the Colonel would have built and has plans to extend their line another half mile towards Aspall Halt Station which would include a road crossing.

There are good on-site facilities at Brockford Station including a station cafe, real ale bar, shop, museum, and waiting room.

If you have not visited this great little railway you will not be disappointed if you journey into the lovely Suffolk countryside. Do however check opening times and days which are limited to Spring to Early Autumn mainly running on Sundays only.

Contact:
Brockford Station,
Wetheringsett,
Stowmarket,
Suffolk,
IP14 5PW

Tel 01449 766899

Email: secretary@mslr.org.uk

 

https://www.mslr.org.uk/
.

more news

© Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News 2003 - ;

2px black line divider


comments

Comments powered by Disqus.