Marks Tey - Bures - Sudbury
Rail Line (2000 - 2005)
In early 2000, the line was upgraded to a two carriage Class 150 (150266) Sprinter, during peak periods.

Year 2001- Railtour
The last special to Sudbury was in 11th November 2001, "The Alresford Adventurer" run by Daylight Railtours.
Loco on the Sudbury end was Steam 35005 "Canadian Pacific" and Diesel 47635 on the Marks Tey end, It was in Sudbury about 4:30 pm.
It was part of a tour from Alresford to Walton on Naze. (of course calling at the Arlesford on that line!)Alresford - Clapham Junction - Kensington Olympia  - Barking - Forest Gate - Colchester - Walton on Naze - Colchester Town - Sudbury - Chappel (1hr break for water) - Marks Tey Up Loop - Forest Gate - Woodgrange Park - Kensington Olympia - Clapham Junction - Alresford
Canadian Pacific being the heaviest train ever to run on the line (even during the good old days, apparently engines of that weight never ran along the Stour Valley Lines!) It was supposed to go into Chappel for a top up of water, but had to wait on the branch platform because they forgot to pickup the Annets Key from Marks Tey to operate Museum Ground Frame.

 Railtour info courtesy of Darren Johnson

Bures Station 2002

Track North to Sudbury - 2002
Track South to Marks Tey - 2002

station@23k bridge@18k
Bures Station 2002
Station house with bridge and maltings


Year 2002:- New Sunday Service
Further improvements in 2002 have seen the commencement of an all year round Sunday service (single carriage Class 153) to Sudbury for the first time in many years.


Class 153`s, still in service Oct 2004.



Photo taken at Bures Stn
by Alan Beales


Year 2003:- 2 Carriage train in use all day.

First Great Eastern, the train operator, reported in January 2003 that passenger journeys on the line have risen 76% during the last five years, since privatisation.

A two carriage Sprinter (Class 150) is now diagrammed to operate throughout weekdays.

Babergh District Council in March 2003, approved plans for a new station/halt to be built at Gt Cornard at Bakers Mill. This would be part of the "Local Plan" to develop new housing estates along the Bures Rd at Gt Cornard.
However, the new estates may not commence development, possibly until 2006+
(Note:- 2010, this project has now been abandoned)

153314 familiar site during the weekends of 2003.

Seen again during 2004, with "Norwich Festival" artwork

Another view of 153134,
although this was taken at Cambridge Station.

Courtesy of www.railrovers.org.uk

"Anglia" 150 unit at Bures Station

First Great Eastern in July 2003, purchased GB Rail the parent company of Anglia Railways. The franchise to run the rolling stock throughout East Anglia is due for renewal in 2004.



This photo taken on the last day of the franchise operated by First Great Eastern. (March 2004).

150217 taken at Sudbury Stn in "Anglia" rolling stock colours

Photo courtesy of
Darren Johnson (Sudbury)

First Great Eastern, leasing rolling stock from other operators (usually Anglia Railways) as this was the only track they operated in Essex/Suffolk which didn`t use electrified rolling stock. Also FGE had no workshops to deal with Sprinter repairs and maintenance, these usually returned to Crown Point (Anglia) at Norwich for attention.

In 2003, Anglia started to refurbish its fleet, and repaint them in Anglia Railways livery. However, only three (unit nos. 153309/322/335) were completed; In 2004, Anglia became part of the 'One' Railway franchise operated by the National Express Group (which was subsequently renamed National Express East Anglia). inheriting the fleet of seven units,

Anglia Railways named its Class 153 fleet after famous local figures:-
" 153306 - Edith Cavell
" 153309 - Gerard Fiennes
" 153311 - John Constable
" 153314 - Delia Smith
" 153322 - Benjamin Britten
" 153326 - Ted Ellis
" 153335 - Michael Palin

Year 2004:- New Train operator

Government policy in 2004, was to have only one train company using anyone of the London Main Line stations, whereas Liverpool St previously had four. This was a chaotic affair with ticketing and time-tabling.

However, this is all changed on April 1st when National Express took over the franchise from FGE, Anglia, Stansted Express and West Anglia Great Northern.

new livery The new operator known as "One" now operates all of the rolling stock in East Anglia, in and out of Liverpool St station.
"ONE" logo

Automated information systems have been installed at each station on the line, so it`s now possible to see `real time` information on the current train situation.
Support now emanates from district and local councils,
user groups as well as "One", the rail operator.
The lines future has never looked better, a vast change from previous years when many attempts were made to close the line down.

How times have changed !
With the introduction of an all year around Sunday service, the future of the line has never looked brighter.
September 2004 figures from the train operator, indicates 920(single) journeys per day are being made on the line.


Class 156 Super Sprinter arrive

January 2005 - Seven Class156 Super Sprinters are to be cascaded down from Central Trains destined for "One"
These will be re-furbished & painted in new livery, with one of the units destined for the branch line.

They have a superior ride to the present Class150`s with increased length and seating capacity.

Consequently the existing Class 150`s will be withdrawn from this region.

Tuesday 26th April 156412 was the first to arrive on scene still in Central Green colours.
156418 at Bures station on Thursday 27th April, again in Central paintwork

Friday 20th May 156402 at Bures Station in matt white Scheduled to be painted in ScotRail livery but never got any further than the undercoat stage. Diverted to East Anglia.


The 156s currently in use are 156407, 156412, 156418 and 156419 in Central's green and black livery, 156416, 156417 and 156422 are in One's light blue and black livery and 156402 in plain white with purple doors.

The Class 156 units are longer than the 150`s, and can seat a further 10 more passengers. The seating is arranged in the 2+2 layout, with carpets, tables at seating bays, a bicycle storage area and a larger toilet with sliding door.
All units will be refurbished internally by the end of 2006.

Tuesday 3rd May:- 156422 finally arrives in "ONE" livery at Bures Station  

updated 17/07/06