Mid Suffolk Light Railway receives a £5,000 grant

Mid Suffolk Light Railway is receiving �5,000 from the Suffolk Community Foundation. Left to right (

Mid Suffolk Light Railway is receiving �5,000 from the Suffolk Community Foundation. Left to right (front row) Paul Ebsworth, Guy McGregor, David Oates, Andrea Pittock, John Stark, Sarah Stamp, John Holmes, John Reeve and Chris Baddeley. - Credit: cont

An ambitious programme of work on the only heritage railway in Suffolk has been given a boost following a £5,000 grant from the county’s community foundation.

The grant was awarded to Mid Suffolk Light Railway (MSLR) by the Suffolk Community Foundation, and will be used for a number of projects planned for the coming year.

A share of the money will be put towards completing the restoration of a Hudswell Clarke no. 1604, a locomotive owned by MSLR.

John Reeve, MSLR’s marketing manager, said: “Apart from the satisfaction of returning an extra locomotive to steaming life, this project is extremely valuable to the railway as it would reduce the need to hire in guest locomotives thus considerably improving the museum’s financial viability.”

Next year the railway will have finished the restoration of its third Great Eastern Railway four wheel Victorian coach and return it to traffic, enabling the railway to run three coach trains for the first time since the re-opening of the MSLR.

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Mr Reeve added: “We are applying for planning permission to extend our line to Blacksmith’s Green continuing along the original trackbed.

“This would give MSLR just short of a mile of track and a ‘run round’ loop to enable trains to be pulled by locomotives in both directions.”

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Mr Reeve said the track extension would “significantly enhance” the attraction of the MSLR experience and encourage more visitors.

Work is also set to start on the construction of a permanent, weatherproof, engine shed. On receiving the grant, Mr Reeve said: “We have an ambitious programme of work for 2016 and this award and others like them will help to confirm the Middy as one of Suffolk’s important tourist attractions.”

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