Marks Tey - Bures - Sudbury
Rail Line (2008)

national express

National Express East Anglia takes over the "ONE" franchise on February 27th 2008

156418 at Bures

June 2007

  ease suffolk

March 13th 2008.

East Suffolk Line Sprinter on the branch line

(Get on Board with the East Suffolk Line)



Sprinter Fleet active in Norfolk and Suffolk.

  network ea


Sprinter 156419 in new National Express colours
Photographed at Chappel by Darren Johnson on May 30th

Sprinter 156419 in new National Express colours
Bures Station June 26th


Sprinter 156402

"Love Shopping - Love Chapelfields"
Sudbury Station on June 13th 2008

Pulling out of Bures station heading for Sudbury, Dec 4th 2008

July 2008

National Express announced that the 1922 and 2008 service from Sudbury to Marks Tey will no longer automatically stop at Bures or Chappel.

Both stations have been changed to "Request Stops",
Passengers now have to signal the train from the platform or inform the conductor if they wish to alight. The trains will also travel at an appropriate speed to see the passengers waiting at the platform.
National Express have imposed this restriction because of the limited number of passengers using these stations in the evenings. Non stopping will allow more time for the busier return connection with the Liverpool St trains at Marks Tey

We seem to be very fortunate on the branch line, as a different Sprinter appears each day.

The Sprinter is diagrammed as follows:-

National Express East Anglia only have 1 DMU fuelling point - Norwich, plus being some 50 miles away from the branch adds another 100 miles to the total to allow for inward and return trip.

The official diagrams show a unit swap every night, apart from Saturday night - the Sat/Sun single car unit is fresh off Crown Point on the Friday night and runs empty to Colchester therefore can do 2 days no problems, it could even work a 3rd day if needed, but it would be too small for weekdays hence the swap there.

The Mon - Fri 156s in the week are diagrammed differently.
A unit comes off the depot on day 1 full and does a day on Sheringham, then it works in the evening to Norwich to Lowestoft, and then the last Lowestoft to Ipswich service,
then empty to Colchester for day two when it does a full day on Sudbury and finishes up working back to Norwich Crown Point for fuel where it should repeat the process.

Doing it that way gets the most use out of their fleet with fewer empty stock movements than if they were allocate 1 unit to Sudbury all week. Plus now they only have 14 Sprinters and need 12 in use every day - with the other 2 on maintenance - there's little room for any slack.

Information courtesy of Darren Johnson

156422156422 seen at Marks Tey on Nov 26th

156422Photo courtesy of Keith Partlow