With the extremely generous support of several donors and a loan from the Transport Trust, a group of local railway enthusiasts, helped by strong motivation from the Earl of Cranbrook, succeeded in purchasing part of the old railway track bed which runs from a point between Leiston Library and the Engineers Arms in Main Street, parallel with Dinsdale Road to the junction of Buller road and Station Road.
Appropriately, the group decided to call itself Leiston Works Railway (LWR) as the line was used, to haul wagons of coal and iron down from Leiston’s main railway station to the Garret Works and then taking manufactured goods back up to the station for export.
Upon acquisition, the track bed was in a poor and overgrown state with much fly-tipping and vegetation but we started work clearing it in October 2011 when a large band of volunteers began moving away debris and vegetation.
To test support for this exciting project, which will result in what will be one of the few known instances of a preserved industrial railway engine being able to run again along its original track bed, a pubic meeting was held at Leiston Community Centre in July 2011 and a great number of local enthusiasts signed up to the idea. The group was constituted as the Leiston Works Railway Trust in September 2011 and achieved the status of a registered charity in December 2012.
It should be noted that our group is independent from the Long Shop Museum but it is our intention to work closely with the Museum to bring to eventual fruition our aim in seeing Sirapite running along its old line.