Station Name: ALDEBURGH

[Source: Nick Catford & Chris Amour]

Date opened: 12.4.1860
Location: On the north side of Victoria Road (A1094) east of the junction with Leiston Road (B1122). Church Farm Road now runs through the site of the station.
Company on opening: Great Eastern Railway
Date closed to passengers: 12.9.1966
Date closed completely: 12.9.1966
Company on closing: British Railways (Eastern Region)
Present state: Demolished - the site is now housing development although a public footpath runs through the station site.
County: Suffolk
OS Grid Ref: TM459570
Date of visit: 31.10.1964

Note: In its early years the station was known as Aldborough and Alderborough. The correct spelling was finally adopted from 1.6.1875.

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 roof.

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 closure.

Steam trains served the Saxmundham - Aldeburgh line, but when DMU's took over on 10 June 1956, journeys were extended to

begin 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.

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


Aldeburgh station in the early 20th century.



1894 1:2,500 OS map. The goods yard is seen opposite the platform, one siding passes through the goods shed with the run round loop in front of it. The engine shed is seen to the north of the signal box.

Aldeburgh station looking towards the buffers in 1950s.

Aldeburgh station looking south in May 1956. The goods shed is seen on the right.
Photo from John Mann collection

Aldeburgh station and goods yard looking south in 1963. The goods yard closed on 30 November 1959. The sidings have been lifted but the end of the goods dock can still be seen on the right.
Photo from John Mann collection


Aldeburgh station in October 1964
P
hoto by Bevan Price

A DMU stands beneath the trainshed at Aldeburgh station in October 1964
P
hoto by Bevan Price

Aldeburgh station looking north from the buffers in 1964. A DMU awaits departure for Saxmundham.
P
hoto by Doug Cady

Aldeburgh station looking north in 1964.
Photo by Doug Cady

Aldeburgh station forecourt in 1965, a year before closure.

Aldeburgh station c late 1960s.
Photo by J L Smith


Looking south towards the buffers Aldeburgh station in 1973. The station was demolished
two years later
Photo by Ted Burgess



Aldeburgh station forecourt in 1973 looking towards Victoria Road.
Photo by Ted Burgess

Looking north from Victoria Road at the site of Aldeburgh station.


c1920

May 1937

1950s

1952


Click on thumbnail to enlarge

 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford & Chris Amour]


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