Marks Tey - Bures - Sudbury
Rail Line (2013)

Bures Station 2nd March 2013

The 156422 is the second to have disability modifications and internal refurbishment at Wolverton, together with the plain Greater Anglia white livery.

Bures Station Adopters' Annual Report , March 2013

1. Car park. Work was done on re-lining the car park in May, to improve and increase the capacity of the station parking, which had been exacerbated by the parking restrictions in The Paddocks. This work has proved successful, with more cars now being accommodated less chaotically. It is noted however, that the station car park cannot provide sufficient parking, and that station users' cars are also parking down Station Hill. Disabled bays were not provided on the road, and the adopters will make enquiries of Greater Anglia regarding this.

2. Trees. One dead tree has been removed by the Rail Partnership, and the Rail Partnership has agreed to remove a very large conifer tree which has grown too large. However, this is presently stalled within Greater Anglia over safety issues. The removal of the tree will give rise to opportunities to provide an additional covered waiting area or a better garden area.

3. Waiting area. Two windows were put back in the waiting hut, to replace those which have been boarded up for many years. In addition period travel posters and an artwork of the line have been placed in the hut. The result is now much more pleasing, and positive comments from users have been received. The adopters may re-paint the inside of the waiting hut to also improve its ambience.

4. Publicising the line. The adopters and the Rail Partnership failed to have the line included in a rail publication called 'Scenic Britain by Train'. However, many publicity postcards were distributed in the year, in addition to a large number of walks leaflets for the line which are also presently being advertised by posters located along the line. A 'Gainsborough Line' leaflet has also been produced and distributed. The adopters, Greater Anglia and the Rail Partnership also promoted the line at the 'Sudbury on Show' event in February.

5. Survey of line. The Rail Partnership, in conjunction with adopters along the line conducted a travel survey of the line in September. Full results of this are still awaited. However, one statistic from the day is:-

Total number of passengers from Sudbury: 580
Total number of passengers from Marks Tey: 593

6. Garden area. The weather was a challenge in the year with first of all a drought and hose-pipe ban, followed by very wet weather. Nevertheless the garden area is still looking reasonable and is assisted by Bakers of Greenstead Green, who continue to sponsor four planted wooden troughs twice a year.

7. Station Access. Greater Anglia (GA) have formed a view that the steps leading from the platform through the trees are unsafe, and have advised that they will close these off, which would leave only the ramp for access. It may be that other solutions will present themselves when the conifer is removed.

8. Rolling Stock. The condition of the rolling stock has been of continuing concern, particularly their external cleanliness, and remains variable. However, Greater Anglia are in the process of refurbishing the units and those that are are somewhat more attractive.

9. Award. The adopters received an award from Greater Anglia (Runner up for Best Small Station) during the year.

Friday April 26th 2013
Traffic holdups in Bures are a rarity, but this one caused some motorists to make a detour when this truck got stuck under the rail bridge adjacent to the station at Bures.

The vehicle, thought to be from the continent, was trapped on Friday morning and is pictured just before the Sudbury to Marks Tey train is due.

It is believed the truck driver deflated his tyres to allow him to pass safely through the bridge and continue his journey.

In the driver’s defence the bridge is only marked in imperial height measurements unlike, for example, the former rail bridge at Ballingdon Street, Sudbury, which carries both metric and imperial measurements.

Acknowledgment to the EADT for this news item

Oct 25th - 27th 2013
A severe storm raged across East Anglia on Monday morning bringing disruption to the rail services due to falling trees and branches
The service on the line was suspended for 3 days, with an announcment on BBC Suffolk that no rail replacement bus service was available.
Was this because "First Bus" bought out "Chambers" earlier in the year who provided the normal fleet of buses ?

Nov 28th :- Call for a direct rail link from London to Sudbury are being backed by a district councillor.
At a business meeting last month, South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo spoke of the importance of improving transport links to the market town.
Passengers currently have to travel to Marks Tey station on the Gainsborough line and then change trains to continue on to London.
Mr Yeo said he would be pushing for a direct train line from London to Sudbury because he believes it would bring a “huge economic benefit” to the area.
And now Babergh district councillor Frank Lawrenson has thrown his support behind the idea, saying a direct rail link would be one of the quickest ways to boost the economy of south Suffolk.
Although he acknowledges that the plan would not be easy to implement and would be very expensive, he believes the investment would pay off in the long run.
He said: “The biggest problem is the junction at Marks Tey where new track would be needed to realign the route"

Ref East Anglian Daily Times 28/11/2013

Editors Note
This has enourmous hurdles to overcome

(a) New track would be required at Marks Tey to swing the branch line towards LST
(b) Current Sprinter rolling stock is just not fast enough for the main line
(c) The line between Col and LST is full to capicity with existing services
(d) To bring electric traction to the branch line would require all the paraphanlia of overhead wires. Electrification of the line was rulesd out many years ago as it passes though AONB.
(e) the branch line station platforms ( Bures and Sudbury) are only capable of carrying 2 car rolling stock.


November 2013
Battery Powered Train under Development

Network Rail is developing a prototype battery-powered train.
Working closely with Derby-based train manufacturer Bombardier and operator Greater Anglia, the project will use one of the operator’s Class 379s as a test-bed to determine future battery requirements and what kind of train might be needed.
This train will be adapted by Bombardier and fitted with two different forms of batteries which will undergo many lab tests before being fitted to the train.
The modified train will then undergo a variety of tests ‘off network’. If these tests prove successful, the train will then run on an electrified branch line on the Anglia route, yet to be chosen, with its pantograph down.
This is so that if there is a problem, it can raise its pantograph, and collect power again. This running will be both in and out of passenger service and by the end of 2014, the trial will be complete.
If it proves practicable to create an energy storage capability for trains, electric traction can be introduced to more parts of the railway without the need to necessarily extend the electrification infrastructure. A battery-powered train could use non-electrified and diesel lines, and recharge their batteries at terminal stations.

Editor - will we ever see this on the Sudbury line ?

December 1st

57004 and 57009 on the branch line weedkilling


Stock photo