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
19 Aug 2018
We are pleased to announce that our Dennis Mace lorry has now been completely refurbished, fitted with a Dennis engine and once again operational.
The Dennis unveiling ceremony will be at 12.30 on the 19th August. The guest of honour will be Mr. Roger Heard OBE, Sales and Marketing Director for Dennis buses and fire engines before his retirement. Also in attendance will be Mr. Alan Russell who leads the Dennis Bus restoration for the Ipswich Transport Museum
Much of the work was carried out by father and son volunteers Julian and Andrew Coy with carpentry by Brian Scott at the MSLR Carriage & Wagon Works.
The Dennis makes a very welcome addition to the Middy collection, albeit an example of the competition that finally put paid to the railway.
The illustration shows the Dennis in early stages of restoration with Andrew (left) and Julian Coy
We will also visited by the Norwich Vintage Motorcycle Club on the same day and a fascinating display of makes and models and their owners will be on site from around lunchtime.
Other vehicles in attendance will be two traction engines and a Dennis Fire Engine.