*Sponsor-a-Sleeper to help complete the line to Aspall Halt.*
During the various stages of the Covid 19 restrictions, the Mid-suffolk Light Railway have still been able to make significant progress on their main project of extending the line.
The first major advance was the preparation and tidying around the Dovebrook platform, which also included the building of a new footbridge to access both the station and picnic areas. This work was carried out by the Middy Infrastructure Team. On March 1st TES2000 Network Rail Contractors carried out more heavy lifting for
the MSLR beyond Dovebrook taking the line to the beginning of the climb to the final destination.
The TES eight man team extended the track some 73 metres closer to the long held aim of adding a further 500 metres to the track length. The work also included crossing the divide caused by the public footpath and installing a new public foot crossing. A 360 degree road/rail digger was employed with the Middy’s own works train in support.
Work on the line in 2020
This is the first time that the track has been extended for 15 years. The new section follows the existing track bed and when completed, will enhance the visitor experience of this unique Edwardian Railway by more than doubling the
length of demonstration journey and giving passengers a ‘destination’, Aspall Halt, where the line will terminate. The construction is being modelled on the old station at Wilby, which had the minimal building and facilities so typical of the cash-strapped Middy.
The MSLR is now renewing its campaign to fund the rest of the track work and the platform at the end of the line – the railway already has the station building – a recovered original MSLR building from the old station at Haughley.
Members, friends and the general public are invited to ‘Sponsor-a-Sleeper’ for £15.00 each at the Middy website www.mslr.org.uk/middyappeal – sponsors will receive a certificate and chance to win a Driver Experience worth £240.00 in a prize draw.
Track extension project in 2020
The Mid Suffolk Light Railway season opens on 30th and 31st with ‘Middy in the War Years’ featuring period military vehicles, displays, re-enactments and two locos in steam on passenger and demonstration duties. The opening programme then continues every Sunday and Bank Holiday from 6th June to 5th September