Leiston Works Railway

The Leiston Works Railway Trust is a registered charity working to restore the line that once served the now-closed Richard Garrett Engineering Works and which represents an important but currently incomplete part of the rich industrial heritage of this small Suffolk town

From its opening in 1859 the line connected the old Town Works to the local branch railway running from Leiston to Saxmundham. By 1912 Garretts had expanded and built their Top Works and the line was used to transport goods and materials between the two sites as well as on to more distant places. Originally the wagons were hauled by Suffolk Punch horses; in 1929 these were replaced by the steam shunting engine Sirapite now owned, and fully restored to working order, by the Leiston Long Shop Museum. For the last years of of its operation, from 1962 until the railway was dismantled in 1968, haulage was by a Battery Electric Locomotive.

Latest News

2020 AGM

We were intending to hold the 2020 AGM on 21 November at the Leiston Film Theatre where we could do so observing social distancing.  However, with the new lockdown we have postponed it to the new year.  All members will…
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Support us!

You can support this unique and important heritage project in a number of ways.  Please see our “Support Us” Page.

If you make purchases using Amazon, you can now name us as your favoured charity to receive a 0.5% discount!

If you know of any photographs or other material that recalls the heyday of the LWR or Garrett’s Engineering, we’d love to hear from you.

Working Parties

Leiston station and works line in 1927

We are holding regular work parties now on Friday afternoons and evenings at our workshop to continue restoring our brake van.  Also some Saturdays at the track bed.  If you wish to participate, please contact us.


Please check out regular updates of our progress with the brake van and the track bed which can be found on our Facebook page.  Also, progress with the 1869 Great Eastern Railway carriage body acquired by our support group can be followed on their facebook page: "the Friends of the Leiston Railway".

We now have a donation feature on our Facebook page and have received some generous donations from supporters overseas as well as in the UK.