£6.5m plan to recreate rail link
A £6.5million project has been unveiled to recreate the former Southwold to Halesworth rail link.It is the brainchild of the Southwold Railway Society and could result in a station being created by the boating lake on the town's seafront, and another near Blythburgh, plus tunnels under the A12 and A145.
A £6.5million project has been unveiled to recreate the former Southwold to Halesworth rail link.
It is the brainchild of the Southwold Railway Society and could result in a station being created by the boating lake on the town's seafront, and another near Blythburgh, plus tunnels under the A12 and A145.
Society chairman John Bennett said the project would need the support of Southwold, Halesworth and the surrounding villages before it could be taken forward.
Halesworth Town Council has already given its support in principle at a special meeting and Southwold Town Council's policy and finance committee will consider the project on Tuesday.
“We think it is a very practical scheme which I don't think would affect anyone adversely,” said Mr Bennett.
“We think it would be something of benefit to the community and if people are enthusiastic about it, we can pursue it.”
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The aim is to recreate the Halesworth to Southwold narrow gauge line as authentically as possible and to provide a service throughout the year.
The scheme has been planned in detail, with every inch of line already designed by David Negus, to arrive at the estimated cost and includes:
n following the site of the original line from Halesworth to Blythburgh
n building a station at Toby's Walk, where there would be park and ride facilities
n running the line through tunnels under the A145 and A12 at Henham
n crossing the mouth of Woolsey Creek and the Hen reed beds
n building a station at Mights Bridge and a level crossing at Mights Road
n and building a terminus by the yacht pond.
Steam locomotives would be used on the line and the railway would be operated by a charitable trust, with volunteers and some paid employees.
The £6.5m cost of the project covers building the nine-mile line and providing rolling stock.
The society said: “There are numerous grants available from a number of sources and, as has happened on other Heritage Railways, there are many enthusiasts willing to provide practical help of all kinds. It is not anticipated that funding will be a major problem.”
The plan to recreate the Southwold to Halesworth rail link will go on display at St George's and St Felix School, Southwold, on August 2 and 3.