Brockford Green: Restored railway carriages available as holiday homes

Tony Alston is pictured at The Sidings in Brockford where there are two holiday cottages in old rail

Tony Alston is pictured at The Sidings in Brockford where there are two holiday cottages in old railway carriages. - Credit: Archant

Most people when they get on a train do not expect to stay the night.

But this is what people looking for a quirky holiday can get when they stay aboard railway carriages in Brockford Green, near Stowmarket.

The carriages, which date back to the early 20th century, were the idea of Tony Alston who also owns the site of the nearby Mid Suffolk Light Railway.

He said: “The carriages have been repaired and restored at great expense. The man who has restored them is a perfectionist and has to get them just right. The carriages are particularly popular with people looking for long weekend and short breaks.”

He said the project to restore the carriages had been going on for about 10 years and had cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

People can currently stay aboard carriages as well as a replica of Mendlesham’s old railway station.

Mr Alston has recently had a new planning application for a further three railway carriages to be used as holiday accommodation approved.

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The holiday homes lie on the old railway line which linked Haughley and Laxfield between the stations of Mendlesham and Brockford.

One of the new carriages, approved in the plans, is called the Mid Suffolk Light Railway, Orient Express.

Another new home is a former Guard’s Van which will provide a bedroom, sleeping bay and living and kitchen areas.

The final new carriage, known as Wilby Station, will be typical of many stations which were along the Mid Suffolk Light Railway line.

As part of the application process, tourism officer Helen Cutting for Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Councils said she supported the proposals.

She said: “It will enhance the offer currently available at the site which is unique.

She added: “The additional accommodation will increase visitor numbers who will support the local economy.”