The Southwold Railway, 1879–1929

The Tale of a Suffolk Byway

Author: Rob Shorland-Ball, David Lee, Alan Taylor

New information
Previously unpublished images
Anecdotal material
Good maps
Useful to modellers

A delightful example of one of East Anglia's minor railways: A 3ft gauge railway, single track, just over 8 miles long from Halesworth (connections to London) across the heathland and marshes of East Suffolk to the seaside resort and harbour of Southwold.

This book collates the research and memories of one of the last surviving passengers with maps and pictures to tell a fascinating tale of immaculate passenger service, management from a distant London office, closure at very short notice, and twenty-first century revival.

About the Author

Rob Shorland-Ball remembers childhood holidays in Southwold when much of the derelict Southwold Railway, which closed in 1929, could still be discovered and explored. Rob, a one-time teacher and good story teller, worked for BR and from 1987 to 1994 was Deputy Head of the National Railway Museum in York so has a good working knowledge of railways and railway history. His co-author, David Lee now in his mid-90's, has researched the history of Southwold Railway for many years and welcomed Rob's knowledge and expertise in bringing together this substantive book on the railway. Another important contributor is the late Alan Taylor whose opening chapter and several pictures are a tribute to his interest. Rob has woven together the scholarship of David Lee and Alan Taylor to create a story of a railway which fascinated passengers while it worked, has lived on in memory, and is now being re-created by a Charitable Trust along much of its original track-bed.

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