Rolling stock boost for Southwold railway enthusiasts
PUBLISHED: 13:58 23 October 2012 | UPDATED: 14:14 23 October 2012
A trust dedicated to recreating a historic railway line through a swathe of north Suffolk countryside has taken delivery of two pieces of rolling stock built during the Victorian age.
The Southwold Railway Trust seized the chance to take the 19th century coach and steam locomotive from the Isle of Man Railway & Tramway Preservation Society (IOMRTPS).
The two organisations reached the agreement because both railways in the Isle of Man and Southwold were built with an unusual gauge of 3ft.
It comes as campaigners in Wenhaston continue to fight the trust’s plans to bring a half-mile heritage railway line to their village.
Speaking about the new acquisition, trust chairman John Bennett said the coach and the locomotive would be long-term restoration projects. He said: “We are pleased to offer these remarkable and interesting vehicles a safe home.
“While they are in Southwold, it will give our volunteers many hours of pleasure working to restore them while working in partnership with the IOMRTPS.
“We will be able to learn and teach new skills in vehicle restoration and engineering.
“One day in the not too distant future we hope to see the vehicles operating on a new piece of restored Southwold Railway.”
The 1879 Manx Northern Railway Coach number 3 is 30ft long and contains a guard’s compartment, two first class compartments and one third class compartment. It is a survivor of the batch of coaches built for the Isle of Man railways in 1879.
The steam locomotive Tinwald was built by Manchester company Beyer Peacock in 1880, but now it consists of little more than its frames after being dismantled in 1945.
The Southwold Railway Trust is a voluntary society that is committed to the preservation and possible restoration of the Southwold Railway. Members hope their plans will be given the go-ahead by Suffolk County Council allowing them to rebuild the old station and create a wildlife and visitor centre, featuring a café and museum.
The public consultation on the plans expired on October 4.