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
Hornby Collectors Day
5 Aug 2018
Sunday 5th August sees the return of the ever popular Hornby Collectors Day at The Mid Suffolk Light Railway, where there will be a selection of the iconic Dublo 3-rail, 2-rail and ‘O’ gauge layouts, together with Meccano displays from the late lamented Liverpool Company.
Plus for the first time, the Middy will be hosting the Vintage Tractor Club, who will be showing a selection of ancient and interesting machines. Also later in the afternoon, there will be a visit from the Ipswich Vintage Motorcycle Club. For anyone interested in agricultural history and/or how their fathers and grandfathers took to the road on two wheels, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
As ever, visitors will be able to enjoy steam train rides in genuine 4-wheel Victorian coaches and all the Middy attractions, Museum, Restoration Shed, cafe, souvenir shop and real ale bar will be open to make it a great day out for all the family.