Decline and Closure
The last Middy passenger train was the 5.35pm from Laxfield to Haughley on 26th July 1952. All the trains that day were packed with people experiencing the novelty of a railway closure: temporary facilities at Haughley provided refreshments to the crowds. The track was lifted during 1953/4, with material being stored in Haughley yard prior to re-use or scrapping.
When the Mid-Suffolk line closed, it was carrying so little traffic that the closure hardly affected Haughley. However, from the late 1950s strong competition from the roads really began to hurt the railways’ passenger and goods businesses, and the government decreed that economies had to be made. A station like Haughley was particularly vulnerable, being located nearly a mile from the village after which it was named. Although the main lines from Ipswich to Norwich and Cambridge remained open (as they do to this day), lesser-used stations such as Haughley closed in 1967.
Over the succeeding years, the platforms, signal box, sidings and most of the buildings of Haughley station have been demolished. All that remains is a small fragment of the main station building, next to the level crossing, which has been refurbished and is now used as offices by a building company. The grain drying plant in the station yard, a landmark visible for miles around, was demolished in 2008.
Today Haughley is once again a busy railway junction, even though no trains stop there. Among those passing through are the London – Norwich expresses, local passenger services between Ipswich, Bury, Cambridge & Peterborough, and freight container trains linking Felixstowe port with the Midlands and North.
Click on any of the pictures below to view the full image.