Note: In its early years the station was known as Aldborough
and Alderborough. The correct spelling was finally adopted from
Aldeburgh was a single platform terminus with a small trainshed at the south end of the platform. The station building which incorporated the stationmaster's house was on the down side. A signal box at the end of the platform on the down side controlled access to a good yard opposite the platform and a and engine shed on the down side. The goods yard comprised two sidings and had a brick goods shed and a 1 ton 10 cwt capacity crane. The shed was opened on with the station, worked by GER and absorbed in 1862. It closed April 1955.The goods yard closed on 30 November 1959.
The train shed was demolished before closure in 1966. The station buildings were demolished in 1975 and the site is now occupied by housing although a public footpath still follows the course of the line from Victoria Road.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ALDEBURGH BRANCH
The Aldeburgh branch measured 8.5 miles in length from Saxmundham
on the East Suffolk main line. It was opened by the East Suffolk
Railway to initially serve only Leiston (4.5 miles) on 1 June
1859. The same year, authority was granted to extend the line
to the fishing port of Aldeburgh, opening on 12 August 1860.
The modest single platform terminus was provided with an overall
and terminate at Ipswich. Other attempts were made to increase
traffic on the branch including visits from the 'Eastern Belle',
a train of Pullman cars which ran from Liverpool Street to selected
resorts giving a cheap luxury service.
A third station serving the resort of Thorpeness was opened
a few days before the start of WW1. The resort had been publicised
by Peter Pan's creator John Barrie and like so many others in
East Anglia seemed to have a promising future. Provision was
very modest, with three obsolete Great Eastern passenger coaches
adapted for the usual station functions and so it remained until
Steam trains served the Saxmundham - Aldeburgh line, but when
DMU's took over on 10 June 1956, journeys were extended to
Aldeburgh lost its goods service on 30 November 1959. Thorpeness
station was downgraded to an unstaffed halt in 1962. The resort
failed to develop and the station had always been little used
other than serving the nearby golf course.
The construction of the Sizewell 'A' nuclear power station,
which opened in 1966, allowed a 5 year stay of execution, but
despite economies such as paytrains, the line closed to passengers
on 12 September 1966. A siding to Richard Garrett Ltd. in Leiston
was also closed at the same time. The company manufactured farm
and road transport vehicles and parts for Beyer Peacock locomotives;
the works had its own Aveling & Porter shunter.
On closure, a siding and gantry crane were constructed 1 mile
east of Leiston to enable spent nuclear fuel to be safely taken
away for reprocessing. This line is still in use, but beyond
this point the track has been lifted.
For further reading see: Branch
Lines to Felixstowe and Aldeburgh by Richard Adderson &
Graham Kenworthy - Middleton Press. Tickets from Michael Stewart and Brian Halford (3284). Route map drawn by Alan Young
Click here to see a short film of the branch in 1957 and another film from 1960.
To see the other
stations on the Aldeburgh branch click on the station name:
Leiston & Thorpeness