With its convenient location just a 10-minute drive away, Stonham Barns Park is an excellent base for exploring the local area, including the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway. The park offers a wide range of accommodation options, including luxurious lodges, cozy glamping pods, and mobile homes.
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, affectionately known as the ‘Middy’, is Suffolk’s only standard gauge heritage railway, offering steam open days and events to the general public. Originally built too late for the great railway age, the line never paid its way and was effectively broke before it opened. Operating in receivership from the start, the line was never fully completed, the rails petering out in the middle of a field. However, it managed to struggle on against all the odds for 50 years.
In 1991, after almost all traces of the line had disappeared, a group of enthusiasts decided this once-important country railway should not be forgotten. Today, the ‘Middy’ stands as a fine example of rural English history and is resurrected as Suffolk’s only standard gauge railway museum, ironically busier now than it ever was.
The ‘Middy’ museum recreates a section of the railway at Brockford with original station buildings that capture the atmosphere of this quirky line. In 2012, the MSLR was awarded the Heritage Railway Association’s Interpretation Award. In October 2014, the ‘Middy’ was voted Suffolk Museum of the Year in competition with 40 other Suffolk museums.
Today’s ‘Middy’ is not only a museum but runs regular steam trains and has a programme of carriage and wagon restoration complementing its efforts to recreate this slice of Edwardian England. It is a testament to the power of heritage preservation and a living legacy of our transportation past.
Whether you are a railway enthusiast or just looking for a unique experience, the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway makes for an unforgettable visit. Explore this slice of Edwardian England and take a journey on a piece of living history.