A PROJECT to restore a stretch of historic train line has reached a major milestone.

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The Leiston Works Railway Trust (LWRT) has now taken delivery of a consignment of 18 60ft track sections.

They have been earmarked for use in the restoration of the historic line, which runs behind the Engineers Arms pub to the junction adjacent to Station Road and Buller Road and used to link the town’s two Richard Garrett engineering works.

LWRT member David Buck, who lives in Buckinghamshire, offered the group an interest free loan to enable this latest part of the project to go ahead.

The operation to transport the rail sections - complete with sleepers and each weighing in excess of three and a half tonnes - from Ipswich to a temporary storage location near Leiston was organised and managed by the LWRT’s Trevor Wrench and John Keeble.

A total of three journeys was necessary, using a specialised heavy duty lift crane transporter owned by SC Fabrications Ltd of Norwich.

Colin Fisher, public relations officer for the LWRT, said: “This exciting project is on track to fulfil all our stated short term aims and objectives.

“We now have more than 120 members, many of whom are actively involved in track clearing days and local fundraising at social events.

“In particular, interest in our ‘sponsor a sleeper’ campaign is going very well, and we are continuing to attract membership contributions and donations from both local and regional parts of the country.”

The track was originally used by Suffolk Punch horses hauling coal and iron from the town’s main railway station to the Garrett Works.

This was later taken over by steam shunting engine Sirapite and the overall aim of the LWRT is to get the restored locomotive running up and down the tracks once again.

There is still time for people “sponsor a sleeper” and support the project.

The cost is £35, with more information available from Stephen Ginger on 01728 831902.

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