Joined: 12 Jun 2013
Location: Lowestoft, Suffolk
|Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:14 pm Post subject: The Snape Branch and Passengers
|Having just read Giles Barnabe's article in Chris's book, I think people may be interested in the facts regarding passengers on the Shape Branch. It was maintained for passenger use until it closed.
The Great Eastern intended for the branch to be Goods only to the Maltings.
Several of the local landowners wanted a passenger service. The GER thought this would not be viable, due to the closeness of Wickham Market and Saxmundham Stations. They were able to get a clause inserted into the act stating that the line would be built and signalled for passenger use, but that passenger services would only be provided if required. Indeed the line was fully block signalled (the apparatus being in the Station Masters Office) until LNER economies in the 1930's, when it became one engine in steam.
There was actually only one passenger train ever to use the branch. This was a RCTS special. Earlier the Cambridge branch of the RCTS had been surprised that the Snape branch had not been included in a tour of goods only branches. Apparently the organiser's face was a picture when he was told that the branch was not officially "Goods Only" and was rated for passenger use.