Trimley was opened in 1891 by the Great Eastern Railway. Its primary purpose was to fill the gap between the station at Orwell and Felixstowe beach, both of which were substantially far away from the village.
A few freight lines were here, but were withdrawn in 1964, and in 1967 the station building was closed. This meant that together with the rest of the branch line, the station became a “pay train” station, with the guards collecting fares. This left only the signalmen at the station, whose purpose was to operate the level crossing and signalling away from the station.
A direct line to the docks at Felixstowe was opened in 1970, and 17 years later in 1987, the spur down to the north freightliner terminal was opened to the south of the station.
The removal of the signal box in 1997 meant the installation of the automatic barriers, and control of these and the points was now undertaken by the Colchester panel signal box.
The station building was a version of a new Essex style, one of only two to be built outside Essex. Its interior would have included a first class waiting room, porters lodge, booking office and combined booking hall and waiting room. A ladies room with toilet completed the facilities.
There was also a small building on the other platform, but this was demolished a long time ago.
Although at time of filming it is in a very bad state, it is still standing, and is now under control of the Trimly station community trust. They gained control of a long term lease in 2011. Their ambition is similar to that of the station at Wickham Market, to transform the station into a café and meeting room whilst preserving the station fabric.
They have a long way to go, and recent months (2021/2022) have seen Greater Anglia seek improvements to the station which ‘may’ involve the demolition of the building, but nothing has been set in concrete. Hopefully in the coming months both fundraising and grants may become available, however multiple applications to the national lottery heritage trust have not borne fruit. I do hope this situation changes for the better, as it would be a shame to lose such a quaint and historically important station. If you wish to know more, I have provided a link in the video description below.
Facilities include a waiting shelter, help point, electronic ticketing machine and new style service information boards.
Passenger traffic at time of writing is provided by class 755 Bi-Mode units, and almost all freight is hauled by class 66 Locomotives.
The entry and exit figures for 2019 / 2020 were 31, 122. These figures are used as the figures for 2020 / 2021 are unreliable due to being very skewed by the pandemic.
Still a functioning station for the village, Trimley could be so much more. I hope that the building gets funding and finally gives the village a focal point it deserves.
For the enthusiasts, obviously the abundance of freight (albeit only intermodal) plus excellent sightlines, gives plenty of video and photo opportunities.
I recorded a video for this station in 2021, and you can view it below :
Links to the Trimley station community trust :