From the 'Suffolk Free Press' of Thursday 4 and 18 April 1963


Line open for freight for 20 years

A spokesman at the Cambridge regional headquarters of British Railways told the Free Press that the future of the Stour Valley line simply as a means of providing a freight service was "pretty secure".

He explained that once a passenger service was dispensed with, the economics of the line continued to be closely examined and were reviewed annually.

"It is extremely unlikely that a Stour Valley freight line would be closed in the near future - and when I say 'near future', I mean ten to twenty years", he added.

A freight only line, our reporter was told, can be run far more cheaply than a passenger service. Simpler signalling systems can be used, the track does not have to be maintained to such a high standard, and many level crossings could be left un-manned.

The spokesman added: "Before a freight line is closed, its quantity of traffic must have dropped to an almost minute level".

4 April 1963




Keep our rail link

The storm over Dr Beeching's proposals to close the Stour line has broken. Great anger and indignation has been expressed and Mr Ernest Marples is living in a 'fool's paradise' if he thinks this storm will quickly subside.

Most people in the area had already reconciled themselves to the closure of the smaller stations on the line, but few thought that Dr Beeching would completely sever rail links from Sudbury and Haverhill - towns that in the next decade or so will treble in size.

This new plan appears to have completely ignored the great industrial, commercial and residential development scheduled for our area.

These proposals have shocked and angered the people of the Stour, but it must be emphasised that these are only proposals and it is now up to the leaders of the community, of industry and of commerce to persuade Mr Marples that they must never be fully implemented. Without delay a special co-ordinating body must be established to organise the fight to keep these vital rail links open.

Undoubtedly politics will be brought into the dispute, but this is not a political question and attempts to cloud the issue by making it one must be avoided.

This affects the whole community and we look to our local M.P.s, Mr John Hare, Mr R. A. Butler and Mr Wm. Aitken for their full support.

4 April 1963




Sudbury Chamber of Commerce decided at their committee meeting last week, that the time was premature to make a protest regarding the Dr Beeching proposal to close the Stour Valley railway line.

The committee thought that as the closure was only in proposal form, it was too early for any action to be taken on their behalf.

It was agreed that the chamber should give the Sudbury Borough Council all the support possible in their efforts to keep the line open.

Mr Tony Moore, secretary, told the Free Press that if the chamber took action now it would be like fighting a legal action before it was brought.

18 April 1963