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Bedford railway station is the main railway station in the town of Bedfordmarker in Bedfordshire, Englandmarker. It is located on the Midland Main Line from London St Pancrasmarker to the East Midlands. It is also the terminus of the Marston Vale linemarker from Bletchleymarker through Bedford St. Johnsmarker. 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 Londonmarker.

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 Hitchinmarker. 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 Bletchleymarker and Cambridgemarker. 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. Pancrasmarker was opened in 1868. The connection to Hitchin is long gone, but the line north of Bedford as far as 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 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 - Butterleymarker at Butterleymarker in Derbyshiremarker 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

East Midlands Trains serve the station with their stopping service from Londonmarker operated by modern Meridian units. There is a half-hourly service to London St Pancrasmarker and to either Nottinghammarker via Leicestermarker or Corbymarker. The morning and evening peak periods see these services extended to Lincolnmarker via Newarkmarker and Melton Mowbraymarker via Corbymarker.

The weekend sees trains operating to Yorkmarker and in the summer months there are also weekend trains to Scarboroughmarker, and in future (possibly around 2010) to Skegnessmarker.

InterCity services from Leedsmarker, Sheffieldmarker and Derbymarker run through at high speed, but do not stop. Interchange with InterCity services can be made at Leicester and St Pancras.

First Capital Connect

First Capital Connect operate regular services to Lutonmarker, St Albansmarker, London St Pancras Domesticmarker, Gatwick Airportmarker and Brightonmarker. Services are operated by Class 319 Class 377 electrical multiple units. From March 2009 there are peak services to Kent operated jointly with Southeastern.

London Midland

London Midland operate local services from Bletchley to Bedford via the Marston Vale Linemarker. 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 Valemarker 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

The metal and glass structure of the main station building, viewed from the car park.


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.


  • Ticket barriers are in operation at this station.


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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