Bedford_railway_station

Bedford railway station

Bedford railway station is the main railway station in the town of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England. It is located on the Midland Main Line from London St Pancras to the East Midlands. It is also the terminus of the Marston Vale line from Bletchley through Bedford St. Johns. The station is also known as Bedford Midland, and is situated to the west of the town centre. It is used by a substantial number of commuters to London.

Through-fares are available from Bedford to Paris, Brussels and other destinations in France and Belgium.

History

The previous Bedford Midland station was built by the Midland Railway in 1859 originally on its line to join the Great Northern at Hitchin. It was situated on land known as "Freemen's Common" approximately 200 yards south of the current station on Ashburnham Road.

The LNWR also had a station on its line (now closed) between Bletchley and Cambridge. The Midland crossed it on the level but there was a serious collision when an LNWR train passed a red signal. Curiously, it transpired at the enquiry that that both drivers were named John Perkins. Following this accident, the Midland built a flyover in 1885.

The extension to St. Pancras was opened in 1868. The connection to Hitchin is long gone, but the line north of Bedford is still officially referred to as the Leicester to Hitchin line. At this time the station was substantially altered, with the replacement of a level crossing by the Queen's Park overbridge. In 1890 a curve was added to the west to allow expresses to by pass the station.

Serious damage occurred during World War II when a bomb destroyed the booking hall's glass ceiling. The current station was built to replace it and was opened by Sir Peter Parker (chairman of BR) on 9 October 1978. The site of the station moved Northwards about 100m and the slow lines were realigned to the West, closer to the fast lines, which were previously the old 1890's avoiding lines.

Although the intention was for what remained of the old awnings to be transferred to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley in Derbyshire it proved impossible to save them. All that remains of the original is a bay with a few buildings at the southern end.

The track layout around Bedford station is set for significant changes in the coming years as Network Rail aims to make operations easier and faster, the majority of the work will be north of the station itself.

Services

The station is served by three operators but managed by First Capital Connect.

  • East Midlands Trains
  • First Capital Connect
  • London Midland

East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Trains serve the station as part of their InterCity service from London. There is a half-hourly service to London St Pancras and via Leicester to either Derby or Nottingham, both operated by Meridian trains.

The morning and evening peak periods see additional trains stop, these are generally operated by Inter City 125 (HST) trains. Northbound evening peak trains operate to Sheffield and Leeds. In addition to these the Meridian services are extended to Burton upon Trent, and with the new franchise services are proposed to continue to Lincoln via Newark and Melton Mowbray via Corby.

The weekend sees trains operating to Barnsley and York. In the summer months there are also weekend trains to Scarborough, and in future (possibly around 2010) to Skegness.

Corby services By East Midland Trains

There may be a new station at Corby built by December 2008 which will have 1tph to and from Corby as a shuttle service to and form London. Trains will call at Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton/Luton Airport Parkway and St Pancras.

First Capital Connect

First Capital Connect operate regular services to Luton, St Albans, London St Pancras International, Gatwick Airport and Brighton. Services are operated by Class 319 electrical multiple units.

London Midland

London Midland operate local services from Bletchley to Bedford via the Marston Vale Line. Services are operated using Class 150/1 diesel multiple units. This service only operates Monday - Saturdays.

Community Rail Partnership

Bedford, 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.

Facilities

Bedford station has the following facilities:

  • 2 waiting rooms
  • Cafe/newsagent/bar and coffee bar
  • Telephones
  • Post box
  • ATM
  • FastTicket machine
  • Toilets
  • Car park with 614 spaces
  • Bedford station is fully wheelchair-accessible.
  • The station has the PlusBus scheme where train and bus tickets can be bought together at a saving.

Redevelopment

Plans are being promoted by Network Rail and Bedford Borough Council for the redevelopment of the station. A new station would be built on the site of the former Victorian station which was closed and bulldozed in 1978 when the current station opened. The scheme would be part of an overall plan to regenerate Bedford town centre.

See also

References

  • For details of 1978 rebuilding see Railway Magazine July 1979, p267

External links

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