On Wednesday June 21st, between 10.30 and 16.00, the Halesworth to Southwold Narrow Gauge Railway will have a triple celebration. They are Suffolk Day, five years of the organisation’s existence, and the first locomotive to run on the main line since closure in 1929.

Everyone is invited to be part of Suffolk Day by visiting this iconic and formerly long-forgotten station. This is under restoration by the Charity.  A site that was completely derelict four years ago is now coming to life again. The original main line has been  re-laid in its historic (and very unusual) three-foot-gauge, exactly where it was until it was scrapped in 1941. The platform was re-found and restored. Even the 1879 station holly hedge rescued, and now re-growing.  The foundations of the station building have been excavated and are displayed. As well as the historic artefacts found in that process are on display in the last original building from the old railway – Blythburgh Goods Shed. This has been completely and sensitively restored, and has won an award.

Re-instatement of the goods yard sidings has been completed, and the station is looking a lot more like it used to be. The station sign, unique fencing, and oil lamps are back in place. Also a replica 1879 coal wagon can be seen on the line.  The hard-working and dedicated volunteers will be very happy to tell visitors about the work, and the hopes for future restoration.  There will also be a demonstration of a large, live-steam, model railway.

A pre-war battery-electric locomotive has just been delivered, after a full restoration, undertaken in Norfolk.  Although not yet complete, the aim is to show how heritage railways can respond to environmental concerns by innovation.

Visitor Information

At the nearby Village Hall there will be heritage railway displays, exclusive souvenirs, railway books and DVDs, films about the railway’s history, and light refreshments.  Enjoy river walks, trackbed walks, and see the famous Holy Trinity church, as well.

There is some car parking onsite (again, free). Or arrive on the 99A bus from Halesworth, Southwold or Lowestoft – the bus stop is only a short walk away.

The entire event is completely free – as, unusually, are the teas, coffees and cakes!  Any donation will be gratefully received of course.  Plus you can sponsor a sleeper to help the restoration to continue.  A board by the platform shows the names of existing sponsors.  You can have your name added.  Or join the charity on the day for only £5.00, and become an integral part of the railway’s revival.