Bedford railway station
Bedford railway station (formerly Bedford Midland Road and referred to on some signage as Bedford Midland) is the larger of two railway stations in the town of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England. It is on the Midland main line from London St Pancras to the East Midlands and the terminus of the Marston Vale line from Bletchley through Bedford St Johns.
|Location||Bedford, Borough of Bedford|
|Classification||DfT category C1|
|Original company||Midland Railway|
|Post-grouping||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|1 February 1859||Opened as Bedford|
|1890||Avoiding lines built|
|2 June 1924||Renamed Bedford Midland Road|
|8 May 1978||Renamed Bedford Midland|
|5 May 1988||Renamed Bedford|
Stations around Bedford
The original station was built by the Midland Railway in 1859 on its line to the Great Northern at Hitchin. It was on land known as "Freemen's Common" approximately 200 yards (180 m) south of the current station on Ashburnham Road.
The London & North Western Railway (LNWR) also had a station on its line between Bletchley and Cambridge. The Midland crossed it on the level and there was a serious collision when an LNWR train passed a red signal. (Curiously, both drivers were named John Perkins). Following this accident, the Midland built a flyover in 1885.
The extension to St Pancras opened in 1868. The connection to Hitchin ceased public services during 1961, but the line north of Bedford to Wigston Junction 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 fast lines were added to the west to allow expresses to bypass 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 station was moved about 110 yards (100 m) north; the slow lines were realigned to the west next to the 1890 fast lines, to which platforms were added.
Although the intention was for what remained of the old awnings to be transferred to the Midland Railway at Butterley in Derbyshire it proved impossible to save them. Nothing remains of the original station buildings.
Services over the Marston Vale line to/from Bletchley were transferred here from the old LNWR St Johns station in May 1984. A new connection, which runs along the formation formerly used by the abandoned line to Hitchin (closed to passenger traffic from 1 January 1962 and completely three years later), was laid from the Marston Vale branch up to the main line to permit this. The original St Johns station closed on 14 May 1984 with a replacement halt on the new chord opening the same day. Bletchley trains henceforth used a bay platform (numbered 1A) on the eastern side of the station and still do currently (summer 2018).
- F. Redfern 1860 - 1862
- J. ??????? 1862 - 1864
- Jasper John Cooke 1865 - ca. 1873
- William Tugby Sykes ca 1879 - 1884
- T.B. Nichols 1884 - 1907 (formerly station master at St Albans City)
- Henry Ward 1907 -1926 (formerly station master at Cheltenham)
- H. Lewis 1926 - 1929 (formerly station master at Swansea)
- A. David Mathieson 1929 - 1940 (afterwards station master at Bradford Forster Square)
- Joseph Lionel Woodcraft 1940 - 1944
- Philip George Gadd 1944 - 1949
- Harry Collins 1949 - 1951 (formerly station master at Rugby)
- Percy Warren 1951 - 1953
- Eric L. Thompson 1954 - 1955 (afterwards station master at Chester)
- J.A. Leslie 1955 - 1956 (afterwards station master at Wigan)
The station is served by three operators and managed by Thameslink.
Off-peak East Midlands Railway semi-fast services along the Midland Main Line between London St Pancras and Nottingham call at the station, as do London-Corby services. Peak East Midlands Railways services no longer call at Bedford as of May 2018, though these are due to resume calling in December 2020.
The station is the northern terminus of Thameslink who operate Thameslink route services to Brighton through St Albans and London St Pancras. Services from the station also call at Luton Airport Parkway and Gatwick Airport. Additional services start or terminate at Gatwick Airport or Three Bridges. These services use Class 700 electric multiple units. Thameslink also runs a few services a day to Sutton on the Sutton Loop line, via both Wimbledon and Mitcham Junction.
The typical off-peak service in trains per hour (tph) is:
- 2tph to Brighton via Gatwick Airport (Thameslink)
- 2tph to Gatwick Airport via Redhill (Thameslink)
- 2tph to London St Pancras (East Midlands Railway)
- 1tph to Corby (East Midlands Railway)
- 1tph to Nottingham via Leicester (East Midlands Railway)
- 1tph to Bletchley (London Northwestern Railway)
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|East Midlands Railway|
|London Northwestern Railway|
|Terminus||London, Midland and Scottish Railway||
Line and station closed
Line and station closed
|London, Midland and Scottish Railway||Terminus|
Line open, station closed
Line open, station closed
|Ridgmont||East West Rail
Community Rail PartnershipEdit
In common with other stations on the Bedford to Bletchley Marston Vale line, Bedford station is covered by the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership. The partnership aims to increase use of the Marston Vale line by getting local people involved with their local line.
A second CRP with Bedford Midland as its northern terminus - the Bedford to St Albans City Community Rail Partnership (BSAC CRP) - has been set up (June 2019), covering the eight stations on the Midland main line between Bedford Midland and St Albans City
The station has the following facilities:
- 2 waiting rooms
- Cafe/newsagent/bar and coffee bar
- Post box
- FastTicket machine
- Car park with 614 spaces
- Fully wheelchair accessible
- Ticket barriers
The station is in the PlusBus scheme, where train and bus tickets can be bought together to save money.
The station will be the eastern terminus for some time of East West Rail, a plan to reopen the railway from Oxford and Aylesbury. As of November 2018[update], extension to Cambridge and East Anglia via Sandy is planned but not funded.
- "in the Tempsford area"
- Annual estimated intercity rail passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at this station from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
- Radford, B., (1983) Midland Line Memories: a Pictorial History of the Midland Railway Main Line Between London (St Pancras) & Derby London: Bloomsbury Books.
- Jacobs, G., (Ed) (2005 2Rev) Railway Track Diagrams: Midlands and North West: Book 4 Chart 2,3 Bradford on Avon:TRACKmaps.
- Slater, J.N., ed. (June 1979). "Bedford Electrification On Schedule". Railway Magazine. Vol. 125 no. 938. London: IPC Transport Press. p. 267.
- Station Name - Bedford St Johns Disused Stations Site Record; Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Testimonial". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 14 June 1862. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Bedford". Northampton Mercury. England. 1 March 1907. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Retirement of Bedford Stationmaster". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 29 January 1926. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "The New Stationmaster". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 29 January 1926. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Forster Square Station Master Retires". Shipley Times and Express. England. 15 December 1948. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "New Stationmaster at Bedford". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 1 November 1940. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Stationmaster completes 45 years' service". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 29 July 1949. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Stationmaster Retiring". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 10 August 1951. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Personal and General". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 30 October 1953. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Chester's new station master". Cheshire Observer. England. 5 November 1955. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Peak-time train cuts 'scandalous'". BBC News. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
- Table 52 National Rail timetable, May 2016.
- Table 64 National Rail timetable, May 2016.
- "Bedford to St Albans Community Rail Partnership". Thameslink Railway.
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