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Bedford railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Bedford Midland
National Rail
Bedford railway station MMB 06 222022.jpg
LocationBedford, Borough of Bedford
Coordinates52°08′11″N 00°28′46″W / 52.13639°N 0.47944°W / 52.13639; -0.47944
Grid referenceTL041497
Managed byThameslink
Other information
Station codeBDM
ClassificationDfT category C1
Original companyMidland Railway
Pre-groupingMidland Railway
Post-groupingLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
Key dates
1 February 1859 (1859-02-01)Opened as Bedford
1890Avoiding lines built
2 June 1924Renamed Bedford Midland Road
8 May 1978Renamed Bedford Midland
5 May 1988Renamed Bedford
2015/16Increase 3.830 million
 Interchange Increase 49,460
2016/17Increase 3.941 million
 Interchange Increase 53,452
2017/18Increase 4.002 million
 Interchange Increase 53,491
2018/19Increase 4.058 million
 Interchange Decrease 49,544
2019/20Decrease 3.870 million
 Interchange Increase 54,944
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Stations around Bedford
Bedford station sidings
Bedford St Johns
Bedford St Johns

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.


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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4] Bletchley trains henceforth used a bay platform (numbered 1A) on the eastern side of the station and still do currently (summer 2018).

Station masters

  • F. Redfern 1860 - 1862[5]
  • J. Houten 1862 - 1864
  • Jasper John Cooke 1865 - 1876
  • William Tugby Sykes 1876[6] - 1884 (formerly station master at Masbrough)
  • Thomas Bates Nichols 1884 - 1907[7] (formerly station master at St Albans City)
  • Henry Ward 1907 -1926[8] (formerly station master at Cheltenham)
  • H. Lewis 1926[9] - 1929 (formerly station master at Swansea)
  • A. David Mathieson 1929 - 1940[10] (afterwards station master at Bradford Forster Square)
  • Joseph Lionel Woodcraft 1940[11] - 1944
  • Philip George Gadd 1944 - 1949[12]
  • Harry Collins 1949 - 1951[13] (formerly station master at Rugby)
  • Percy Warren 1951 - 1953[14]
  • Eric L. Thompson 1954 - 1955[15] (afterwards station master at Chester)
  • J.A. Leslie 1955 - 1956 (afterwards station master at Wigan)


The main entrance on 4 June 1962
The main entrance on 4 June 1962
The main entrance on 13 January 2007 from the car park.
The main entrance on 13 January 2007 from the car park.

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.[16]

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.[17]

London Northwestern Railway operates local services to Bletchley via the Marston Vale Line using Class 230 units. There is no Sunday service on this line.[18]

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour (tph) is:

Service summary

Preceding station
National Rail
National Rail
Following station
Wellingborough   East Midlands Railway
Midland Main Line
  Luton or Luton Airport Parkway
Terminus   Thameslink
Bedford St Johns   London Northwestern Railway
Marston Vale Line
Mon-Sat Only
Disused railways
TerminusLondon, Midland and Scottish Railway
Line and station closed
Line and station closed
London, Midland and Scottish RailwayTerminus
Historical railways
Line open, station closed
Midland Railway
Line open, station closed
  Future Services  
Ridgmont   East West Rail

Community Rail Partnership

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[19]


class 150 at bedford
class 150 at bedford
Bedford Station from the station footbridge - looking north. An East Midlands Railway High Speed train is leaving platform 4 heading north.
Bedford Station from the station footbridge - looking north. An East Midlands Railway High Speed train is leaving platform 4 heading north.

The station has the following facilities:

The station is in the PlusBus scheme, where train and bus tickets can be bought together to save money.

Future developments

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 2020, extension to Cambridge and East Anglia via "a new station in the Tempsford area" is planned but not scheduled. Bedford station will be rebuilt for east west rail in 2023.[20]

See also


  1. ^ "in the Tempsford area"


  1. ^ Radford, B., (1983) Midland Line Memories: a Pictorial History of the Midland Railway Main Line Between London (St Pancras) & Derby London: Bloomsbury Books.
  2. ^ Jacobs, G., (Ed) (2005 2Rev) Railway Track Diagrams: Midlands and North West: Book 4 Chart 2,3 Bradford on Avon:TRACKmaps.
  3. ^ Slater, J.N., ed. (June 1979). "Bedford Electrification On Schedule". Railway Magazine. Vol. 125 no. 938. London: IPC Transport Press. p. 267.
  4. ^ Station Name - Bedford St Johns Disused Stations Site Record; Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Testimonial". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 14 June 1862. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Bedford". Herts Advertiser. England. 8 January 1876. Retrieved 7 March 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "Bedford". Northampton Mercury. England. 1 March 1907. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "Retirement of Bedford Stationmaster". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 29 January 1926. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ "The New Stationmaster". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 29 January 1926. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. ^ "Forster Square Station Master Retires". Shipley Times and Express. England. 15 December 1948. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "New Stationmaster at Bedford". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 1 November 1940. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  12. ^ "Stationmaster completes 45 years' service". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 29 July 1949. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. ^ "Stationmaster Retiring". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 10 August 1951. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  14. ^ "Personal and General". Bedfordshire Times and Independent. England. 30 October 1953. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  15. ^ "Chester's new station master". Cheshire Observer. England. 5 November 1955. Retrieved 1 March 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  16. ^ "Peak-time train cuts 'scandalous'". BBC News. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  17. ^ Table 52 National Rail timetable, May 2016.
  18. ^ Table 64 National Rail timetable, May 2016.
  19. ^ "Bedford to St Albans Community Rail Partnership". Thameslink Railway.
  20. ^ "Bletchley to Bedford". East West Rail. Retrieved 5 March 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 April 2021, at 21:11
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