Accidents and Incidents on the Branch Line
1857 - 2010

Theft (December 8th 1857)
William Hicks a railway porter at Bures, was charged with stealing a peck of beans from a railway truck the property of Mr H.W.Westrop.
William Woods, an officer of the Essex Constabulary, was charged with receiving stolen property.
Wicks two months in prison and Woods six months hard labour.



1858 (Bury Free Press)
On Tuesday evening of the November 25th 1858, as the goods train was leaving Bures station for Marks Tey, the engine burst with a terrible explosion, scattering portions a considerable distance, some weighing above one cwt were thrown through the air up to 100 yards away.
Both the driver and stoker were uninjured, the explosion shook Bures with doors being blown open.


Suffolk Chronicle January 5th 1867




Bury Free Press, February 8th 1880

Essex County Standard, Oct 27th 1881


Suffolk Free Press, Nov 24th 1886

Bury and Norwich Post, Oct 8th 1898

The Newsman, March 16th 1901

On 12 July 1887 one person was killed at Bures when part of a runaway train collided with a crossing gate.

There was a fatal accident at Bures railway station late on Thursday night, when Edward Smith a married man aged 50 years an engine driver from Bergholt Road in Colchester and a native of Sudbury was killed.
A pilot or additional engine was attached to a heavy excursion train travelling from Clacton to Mildenhall to assist in the gradients between Sudbury and Colchester.
The engine was detached at Sudbury and was making it's way back light to Colchester, when it approached the Mount Bures level crossing the gates were closed.
The engine stopped and the fireman got down to help the gatekeeper to open the gates, the engine then slowly proceeded through the gates.
The driver got down and the three men were engaged in conversation.
When for some unexplained reason the brakes became released, seeing this Smith ran to the gates to throw them open, he opened one gate but was caught between the buffers and the gate while attempting to open the second gate, he was severely crushed and died instantaneously.
Inquest report: Accidental death
Read full transcript

On 27 January 2006 at least four passengers were slightly injured when a Class 156 train ran into the buffer stop at Sudbury. The 6:05 pm service from Marks Tey was travelling at a speed at the time of the collision of approximately six miles per hour. An investigation determined that the driver failed to apply the brakes in a "timely and appropriate manner".
The passenger train operated by 'One railways' ran into the buffer stops at Sudbury station. The collision occurred at just over 6mph as the train was braking. Approximately 100 passengers were on board, with a number of them suffering minor injuries, and one passenger sustaining suspected fractured ribs. No passengers were taken to hospital.
The immediate cause of the accident was that the brakes of the train were not applied in a timely and appropriate manner. The only likely explanation of this is misjudgment by the driver.
No further causal or contributory factors were identified.

RAIB has made two recommendations as a result of its investigation. They cover:
(a)Guidance for train crew on procedures following an accident.
(b)A review into energy absorbing buffer stops at terminal platforms.

On 17 August 2010 a derailment occurred at Lt Cornard when the 5:31 pm service from Sudbury collided with a lorry that had entered a level crossing without permission. The train driver and four passengers were seriously injured in the accident.
Link to photographs on damage

Text aken direct from Newspaper reports
Published 17/08/2021