Sudbury Station archive photos
A terminus in Suffolk.
Report by urban75 editor, July 2005/Photos June 1984
Sudbury is an ancient market town in the county of Suffolk, England, on the River Stour.
Boasting a population of 12,000, the town lies 15 miles from Colchester and 60 miles from London.
[Archive photo of the once-substantial station showing the two platforms, freight dock and footbridge.]
The Cambridge to Colchester line reached Sudbury in 1847, with the line branching east off the Cambridge main line at Shelford and running through 13 station before joining the Colchester - Liverpool Street line at Marks Tey, one stop from Colchester.
After frantic local campaigning, Sudbury was fortunate to escape the infamous 'Beeching Axe' of the 1960s, although all passenger services to the north of the station to Cambridge ceased on 6th March 1967.
Sudbury is now the terminus of the short branch line from Marks Tey, with intermediate stops at Chappel & Wakes Colne and Bures.
[A Gloucester RCW DMU at the old station, Sudbury, c1971. Photo by John Law]
Originally called the 'Stour Valley Line', this short Suffolk branch line was briefly known as the 'The Lovejoy Line' (after a dour BBC TV series about a local antique dealer) and more recently, 'The Gainsborough Line', after the famous local artist, Thomas Gainsborough (born 1727).
These photographs were taken in 1984 at a time where the line's future seemed under threat.
The station's future now seems secure after a £3 Million investment in new track in 2005, and locals continue their efforts to reopen the line through an active campaign group, The Cambridge to Colchester Railway Development Company
The actual station, alas, has not fared so well, with the impressive station buildings and canopy being flattened in 1986 and the site being covered by a store in 1991.
The current station was built a short distance to the east and features a single platform and a rudimentary pedestrian shelter.
I visited the station in 1984, and the main station building was in a very run-down state.
The station house was uninhabited, the windows bricked up and graffiti all over the place.
A closer look at the sole remaining working platform. You can just see two passengers waiting for the next train,
Looking north along the platform to the buffers.
The line used to run on from here to Long Melford, Glemsford, Cavendish, Clare, Stoke, Sturmer, Haverhill, Bartlow, Linton and Sawston before joining the Cambridge to Liverpool Street main line at Shelford.
You can clearly see the disused second platform to the left.
Looking south towards Marks Tey from the end of the abandoned platform two.
A view from the station approach to the west.