Welcome to the ‘Middy’
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, affectionately known as the ‘Middy’, was a classic case of a railway built too late for the great railway age. It never paid its way and was effectively broke before it opened. Operating in receivership from the start the line was never fully completed, the rails petering out in the middle of a field. However it still managed to struggle on against all the odds for 50 years.
In 1991 after almost all traces of the line had disappeared a group of enthusiasts decided this country railway, once so important to the area, should not be forgotten. The ‘Middy’, a fine example of rural English history, is now resurrected as Suffolk’s only standard gauge railway museum and ironically is busier now than it ever was.
A section of the railway at Brockford has been recreated with original station buildings which capture the atmosphere of this quirky line. In 2012 the MSLR was awarded the Heritage Railway Association’s Interpretation Award. In October 2014 the ‘Middy’ was voted Suffolk Museum of the Year in competition with 40 other Suffolk museums.
Today’s ‘Middy’ is not only a museum but runs regular steam trains and has a programme of carriage and wagon restoration complementing its efforts to recreate this slice of Edwardian England.
Sponsor a Boiler Tube
Help the 1604 Restoration Project
1604 was one of the last working steam locomotives in East Anglia, having worked at the British Sugar Corporation, Bardney, Lincolnshire from new in 1928 for over 40 years. 1604 is similar to the engines which worked the MSLR in the line’s early days and from the same manufacturer, Hudswell Clarke of Leeds.
Nothing is left of the originals, but it is in keeping with the ethos of the Museum to restore an engine with a similar pedigree to maintain the early 20th century atmosphere of this unique piece of England’s railway history.
Next MSLR Event
Special Engine Month
24 Jun 2018
During five days in June we will be hosting ‘Illingworth,’ Hudswell Clarke outside cylinder 0-6-0T no.1208 built for the Nidd Valley Light Railway in 1916. With a genuine light railway pedigree and very close in appearance to our own 1604, 1208 is doubly welcome as this year’s visitor to the Middy
‘Illingworth’ will star in our ‘Special Engine’ month, a departure from recent steam galas, with the intension of giving more time for a bigger audience to come and see our visiting locomotive. ‘Illingworth’ will be sharing duties with one our resident locos on 9th,10th,16th,17th and 24th June, two locos will be in steam on all five days.
STOP PRESS! 24th June will see ‘Illingworth’ demonstrating the rolling chassis of our own 1604 with trips up and down the line.