Bletchley railway station

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Bletchley National Rail
Bletchley
Location
Place Bletchley
Local authority Milton Keynes
Grid reference SP868337
Operations
Station code BLY
Managed by London Midland
Number of platforms 6
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03 Increase 0.669 million
2004/05 Increase 0.677 million
2005/06 Increase 0.682 million
2006/07 Increase 0.688 million
2007/08 Increase 0.732 million
2008/09 Decrease 0.725 million
2009/10 Decrease 0.715 million
2010/11 Increase 0.808 million
2011/12 Increase 0.849 million
- Interchange 74,673
2012/13 Increase 0.881 million
- Interchange Increase 75,916
History
Key dates Opened 1846 (1846)
Original company London and Birmingham Railway
Pre-grouping London and North Western Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Bletchley from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal
Southward view of platforms.
Station front in 1962

Bletchley is a railway station that serves the southern parts of Milton Keynes, England (especially Bletchley itself), and the north-eastern parts of the Buckinghamshire district of Aylesbury Vale.

It includes a junction of the West Coast Main Line with the Bletchley-Bedford Marston Vale Line.

This is one of the five railway stations serving Milton Keynes. The others are Milton Keynes Central, Wolverton, Fenny Stratford and Bow Brickhill.

It is the nearest main line station for Stadium mk, the home of Milton Keynes Dons F.C., at present about 30 minutes' walk. Fenny Stratford is closer, on the Marston Vale Line.[1]

There are ticket barriers controlling access to the platforms.

History[edit]

The London and Birmingham Railway, now part of the "West Coast Main Line", was officially opened from London Euston to Denbigh Hall, approximately one mile north of Bletchley station, on 9 April 1838, 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 eastward route (to Bedford St Johns) opened in 1846,[2] when the first station at Bletchley was built. The westward route (to Buckingham) opened in 1850. This east–west route subsequently became the Oxford – Cambridge "Varsity Line".

Up freight on West Coast Main Line at Bletchley in 1964
A local train for Banbury leaves Bletchley Station in 1948

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 14 October 1939, an express passenger train was in a collision with another train. Five people were killed and more than 30 were injured.[3]

Community Rail Partnership[edit]

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.

Future[edit]

The Marston Vale Line is the passenger carrying remnant of the Varsity Line. The line beyond Bletchley through Winslow to Bicester Town 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 (officially named the "The Bletchley Flyover") 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 from Bicester remains open for traffic to Oxford. (The future of this route is more fully described at the Varsity Line article).

Development plans 2006 to 2010[edit]

In May 2006, the Department for Transport announced specific plans for Bletchley station:[4]

  • maintenance of the new Desiro trains to be moved to a new depot at Northampton by the end of June 2006; Northampton will also take over the maintenance of all other Silverlink trains by December 2006;
  • closure of Bletchley TMD for regular train maintenance;
  • construction of a new high-level platform to replace the current low-level platform used for Bletchley services; the new platform will be suitable for use by any future East-West services;
  • full resignalling and network simplification.

In addition, as part of a project to regenerate Bletchley as a whole, Milton Keynes Council proposed the creation of a new eastern pedestrian access to the station by extending the existing platform overbridge across the tracks to reach Saxon Street. The eastern entrance will open out into a new station square and transport interchange where an at-grade pedestrian crossing across Saxon Street would give access to the town centre. In the longer term it was hoped to construct an underground concourse to link the eastern and western station entrances.[5]

The Bletchley TMD ceased to be a full service maintenance depot on 30 May 2008, with most services being transferred to Northampton or Birmingham.[6] The Bedford-Bletchley Rail Users' Association believed that the closure could result in delays on the Marston Vale Line, since the line is worked by diesel services (unlike London Midland's adjoining routes which are electrified) and maintenance staff and new units would now have to travel from Tyseley.[7]

At the end of 2010, work on the high-level platform or the Saxon Street entrance had yet to begin. As of May 2014, this remains the case.

Development to 2019[edit]

Following approval on 29 November 2011 of the western section of the East West Rail Link between Oxford, Milton Keynes Central and Bedford, the route is due be open in 2019.[8][9][10][11] Unless Bletchley is bypassed, new high level station will need be built at the station (the existing line crosses [and also connects with] the WCML via a bridge that is close to the existing station) but currently (May 2014) does not have connections to the existing station from Oxford, Milton Keynes Central or Euston without reversing.[12]

Ticket office opening hours[edit]

In mid September 2012, the Transport Minister Norman Baker announced in a 'written answer' that the Government has approved London Midland's request to reduce the opening hours of the ticket office, so that the station will close at 21:00 on Mondays and 20:00 on Tuesdays to Fridays.[13] Defending the Government's decision to reduce the opening hours here and at Wolverton, local MPs Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster said that most passengers use ticket machines to buy or retrieve their tickets.[13] Speaking for the opposition Cooperative and Labour Party, prospective parliamentary candidate Andrew Pakes called it the "thin end of the wedge", that it would put into question the opening hours of the station toilets and waiting room.[13]

Services[edit]

Southwards, London Midland operate services between Bletchley and London Euston, as well as east to Bedford. Also, Southern runs trains between Bletchley and South Croydon. Northwards, both operators run services to Milton Keynes Central, with London Midland continuing on to Northampton and stations to Birmingham New Street.

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Terminus London Midland
Mondays–Saturdays only
London Midland
Southern
Milton Keynes – South Croydon
Future services
Milton Keynes Central   East West Rail Link
Milton Keynes Central to Oxford and Reading
  Winslow
towards Oxford
Fenny Stratford or Woburn Sands
towards Bedford
  East West Rail Link
Bedford to Oxford
  Winslow
towards Oxford
Milton Keynes Central   East West Rail Link, London - Aylesbury
Milton Keynes Central – London Marylebone
  Winslow
towards Aylesbury
Historical railways
Line and station closed
London Midland Region of British Railways
Line and station open

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.footballgroundguide.com/milton_keynes_dons/#Milton-Keynes-Dons-Stadium-Nearest-Railway-Station
  2. ^ "Milton Keynes Heritage" (map), Milton Keynes Development Corporation, 1983.
  3. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 42. ISBN 0-906899-01-X. 
  4. ^ "West Coast Main Line: Progress Report" (PDF). Department for Transport. May 2006. pp. 17, 23, 37 & 42. Archived from the original on 7 August 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Central Bletchley Regeneration Framework; Chapter 9: Bletchley Crossways" (PDF). Milton Keynes Council. 2006. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "'Thankyou' to staff from London Midland as Bletchley train depot closes". London Midland. 30 May 2008. Archived from the original on 16 November 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "More commuter misery down the line". Bedford Today. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "East West Rail – Western Section – Prospectus" (PDF). East West Rail. November 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Western Section Map" (PDF). East West Rail. November 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Broadbent, Steve (14–28 December 2011). "Sudden 'yes' for East-West link surprises campaigners". RAIL (685): 10. 
  11. ^ Bucks Herald (31 March 2014). "Disappointment as East West Rail delayed by two years". Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  12. ^ Network Rail gears up to deliver East-West rail
  13. ^ a b c MPs defend reduction in train ticket office opening hoursMilton Keynes Citizen, 18 September 2012

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°59′42″N 0°44′10″W / 51.995°N 0.736°W / 51.995; -0.736