Bletchley is a railway station that serves Bletchley, Milton Keynes (ceremonial Buckinghamshire), southern districts of Milton Keynes generally, and the north-eastern Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire.
It includes a junction of the London-Scotland West Coast Main Line with the Bletchley-Bedford Marston Vale Line.
The London and Birmingham Railway, now the "West Coast Main Line", was officially opened from Euston
to Denbigh Hall
, approximately one mile north of Bletchley station, on April 9
, where a temporary station was built. The line was fully opened in September 1838, and there seemed no apparent need for a station in the Bletchley area at all. It was not until 1847 that Bletchley station was built following the opening of the line from Bedford. Originally a major intercity
station, that role passed to Milton Keynes Central in 1982 when the latter was built, long after the east/west route had been downgraded, taking Bletchley's importance as a junction with it. Today, no Virgin
inter-city services stop at Bletchley.
The eastbound route (to Bedford) opened in 1846, when the first station at Bletchley was built. The westbound route (to Buckingham) opened in 1850. This east/west route subsequently became the Oxford to Cambridge "Varsity Line".
The station is served by London Midland
local services from Northampton
on the West Coast Main Line and to Bedford on the Marston Vale Line. For inter-City services, change at Milton Keynes Central
This station is one of the five stations serving Milton Keynes. The others are Wolverton, Milton Keynes Central, Fenny Stratford and Bow Brickhill.
Community Rail Partnership
Bletchley, in common with other stations on the Marston Vale line, is covered by the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership The Partnership aims to increase use of the line by getting local people involved with their local line.
The Marston Vale Line is the passenger carrying remnant of the Varsity Line. The line beyond Bletchley through Winslow
is closed to passenger traffic at present, with goods traffic going only as far as Newton Longville
sidings for the waste disposal site there. The high level crossing over the WCML at Bletchley remains in place and in occasional use. There is a campaign to re-open the line to passenger traffic at least as far as Bicester and ideally rebuild it from Oxford right through to Cambridge. In 2001, the Strategic Rail Authority
considered but rejected the option to reopen the line between Bicester and Bletchley. The track has been lifted back to Swanbourne
and from there to Claydon Junction the track is overgrown. The remaining section to Bicester remains open for traffic from Aylesbury
. (The future of this route is more fully described at the Varsity Line article)
Development plans to 2010
Apart from the aspirations above, in May 2006 the Department of Transport announced specific plans for Bletchley station .
- Maintenance of the new Desiro trains moves to Northampton by the end of June 2006,
- maintenance of all other Silverlink trains is moved there too, by the end of December 2006, and
- the maintenance depot, Bletchley TMD, is to close.
- "It is likely" that Bletchley area renewals and network simplification will take place by 2010, to include a high-level platform for the Bedford trains. "The network will be suitable for the later addition of any "East-West" link to and from Oxford and for the operation of through links from either Oxford or Bedford to and from Milton Keynes."
- As part of the project to regenerate Bletchley as a whole, Milton Keynes Council proposes a new station approach for pedestrians, crossing the tracks from Saxon Street and leading into Bletchley.
In reality, the Bletchley TMD ceased to be a full service maintenance depot on 30 May 2008, with most services being transferred to Northampton or even Birmingham. This means that there is only a limited service for the trains on the (non-electrified) Marston Vale Line.