Hadleigh Railway

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Hadleigh Railway
Hadleigh
Raydon Wood
Capel
Bentley
Great Eastern Main Line

The Hadleigh Railway was a 7 12-mile (12.1 km) long single track branch railway line in Suffolk, England that ran from Bentley Junction on the Great Eastern Main Line to Hadleigh via two intermediate stations, Capel and Raydon Wood.[1]

History[edit]

Opening[edit]

In June 1846 both the Eastern Union Railway and Hadleigh Junction Railway were authorised to construct the line. The Eastern Union Railway bought out the Hadleigh Junction Railway and started construction on 5 September 1846 and the line opened on 20 August 1847.[2]

Train services[edit]

The initial service was five weekday returns and three on Sunday, but the Sunday services were soon withdrawn. Some through coaches to London were available, which were slipped on the return. In 1848 two direct services to Ipswich were included in the schedule each weekday, but the northern section of the triangular junction to the mainline was closed in 1875. From that time, any services to Ipswich were required to reverse at Bentley.

The level of service fluctuated until the takeover by the Great Eastern Railway in 1862 brought some stability. In 1889 there were five trains per day with some working through to Manningtree.[3] Passenger services on the line peaked in 1920 when the number daily had reached seven, but competition from bus services reduced this to five by 1924, which was the level maintained until passenger services closed.[3]

World War II[edit]

In common with so many branch lines which were later deemed redundant, the goods facilities at Capel and Raydon Wood were used extensively during World War II handling supplies for a nearby United States Army Air Forces base,[4] later known as RAF Raydon.

Closure[edit]

The line closed to passengers on 29 February 1932 but remained open to freight serving local manufacturers. The line closed completely on 19 April 1965. The track was removed soon after closure.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.npemap.org.uk/tiles/map.html#603,241,1
  2. ^ "The story of Hadleigh's railway". Retrieved 2 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Mitchell, Vic (June 2011). Branch Lines to Harwich and Hadleigh. Midhurst: Middleton Press. Historical Background. ISBN 978 1 908174 02 4. 
  4. ^ Mitchell 2011, Plate XII

External links[edit]