Mid Suffolk Light Railway

Yesterday the Norfolk & Suffolk Narrow Gauge Modellers were exhibiting eight of their layouts at the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway.

I haven’t been to a model railway exhibition for over 15 months. How could I resist….

It was great to see the layouts working, talk to the N&SNG modellers and catch up with several other modellers that were visiting. Good to see you all again 🙂

I didn’t photograph any of the layouts but I did take a few snaps of the SM32 Simplex built by Malcolm Cudmore.

Originally it’s a Phil Sharples kit and Malcolm has done a great job of adding extra details.

The most intriguing aspect of the loco was the control system. It creates it’s own WiFi network, you can join the network and control the loco via your mobile phone or tablet. It’s all battery powered from inside the loco. It’s amazing what you can fit into such a small space!

The Mid Suffolk Light Railway was an unexpected pleasure.

Built in the 1900s it aimed to open up this part of Suffolk and give access to the local market towns. The preserved line retains a real rural charm.

This was originally Mendlesham station. Built of corrugated iron with a room at each end and a central, open, waiting area. Rumour has it the buildings were based on cricket pavilions. One end for the home team and the other for the away team. (I’ve no idea if this is true!).

The other type of station building was this small corrugated iron clad hut.

The ‘Middy’ team have done a great job of recreating the interior.

The line was never profitable. It wasn’t absorbed into the LNER until it’s financial problems were resolved. After WWII it was in a sad state of repair, passenger and goods traffic were dwindling and BR closed the line in 1952.

None of the original locos or stock exist, but the ‘Middy’ team have done a great job of preserving rolling stock from the Great Eastern Railway, the Middy’s bigger neighbour.

Built in 1863 this was originally a GER First Class Smoking Coach and is the oldest surviving preserved GER carriage. When the MSLR members found it it was being used as a shed!

I’ve lived in Essex and Cambridgeshire for over 20 years and I’ve read about the Great Eastern Railway lines that were built in the area. It was a real pleasure to see some of the preserved GER wagons and to ride in the old four wheeled GER coaches. We travelled out in third class on hard, wooden seats and travelled back in First class, which was much more comfortable!

The MSLR has a real ‘short line’ feel about it and if you’re in the area I’d recommend a visit.

I’ll leave you with some photos…


    • Thanks Phil, very useful. My delightful daughter was very impressed by this loco and control system. I’m trying to persuade her to make one. Chances of persuading a teenager ….. <10% 🙂


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