The East Suffolk Railway Line was built by one of the foremost railwaymen of the mid-Victorian period, Sir Samuel Morton Peto; the culmination of a route from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft to London via Ipswich.
Founding directors issued a prospectus to convince investors to join the venture and by 1859 the line as we know it came into existence, with branches inland to Framlingham, and to the sea at Aldeburgh and Southwold. Its contribution to the prosperity of the local towns in East Anglia has been historically significant. The strategic and practical role in both world wars helped armies recover, defend our coastline and supply our air forces. As with all UK railways in the post-war era it reached its nadir in the 1960’s, and the car became king. The branches were removed but the line remained as a strategic link for the nuclear power station. In these times of economic uncertainty its historical contribution has been remembered, along with its role in the transport of goods and people up and down our wonderful area.
The history is presented on a large multi-touch screen with a focus on its social and regional impact. Visitors of all ages and levels of engagement will be able to enjoy an aspect of our history that is often overlooked. We hope it will develop into a well-researched resource for local schools, individuals and experts alike.
If you share our passion and would like to be involved in the research, please let us know. We now have a database to store information and would be delighted for any pre-1967 photographs or local memories of the East Suffolk Railway. When sending photographs please, where possible, include the date they were taken, location and photographer’s name. The picture quality is not important, but please include your contact details so we may keep in touch. Any anecdotes relating to railway events or the lives of those working on the railway will help to build a significant resource in local knowledge as part of the exhibition.