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Bletchley railway station

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Place  West Bletchley
Station code  BLY
DfT category  C2
Number of platforms  6
Grid reference  SP868337
Managed by  London Midland
2011/12  0.849 million
Local authority  Borough of Milton Keynes
Bletchley railway station
Address  Bletchley, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Original company  London and Birmingham Railway
Similar  Wolverton railway station, Woburn Sands railway st, Bedford railway station, Aspley Guise railway st, Milton Keynes Central ra

Bletchley railway station 9th october 2015


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.

Contents

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 Bletchley Park, the WW2 codebreaking centre, and 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.

There are ticket barriers controlling access to the platforms.

History

The London and Birmingham Railway, now part of the "West Coast Main Line", was officially opened from London Euston as far as 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 1846 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 Trains stop at Bletchley.

The eastward route (to Bedford St Johns) opened in 1846, 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".

Accidents and incidents

  • 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.
  • Layout & Facilities

    There are six platforms in use here, numbered 1-6 from west to east. 1 & 2 serve the fast lines used by Virgin West Coast Main Line expresses and as such they normally see little or no use (as none of these are scheduled to stop, as noted). They are utilised if the slow lines are out of service for engineering work or other unscheduled/out of course events. Platforms 3 & 4 serve the slow lines and are used by the London Midland services between London Euston and Northampton & Birmingham New Street that call, along with Southern's Milton Keynes to East Croydon trains. 5 & 6 are located on the eastern side and are the only ones that give access to the Marston Vale line to Bedford, (though they can also be used by main line trains from Milton Keynes). Bedford trains normally start & terminate in platform 6, but can use 5 if required. There are carriage sidings to the north of the station (along with the now closed Bletchley EMU depot), whilst the high level flyover carrying the currently dormant Varsity Line (closed to passenger trains since 1968) towards Oxford passes to the east of the station before crossing the main lines to the south. The main buildings & station entrance are located on the west side of the complex.

    Community Rail Partnership

    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

    The Marston Vale Line is the passenger carrying remnant of the Varsity Line. As of 2016, the line beyond Bletchley through Winslow to Bicester Town is closed to passenger traffic, 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" - built in 1959 as part of the Modernisation Plan, with 7 x 56 ft (17 m) spans and then expected to be used by 80 trains a day) over the WCML at Bletchley remains in place and in occasional use. There is a funded plan to re-open the line to passenger traffic via Bicester to Oxford by 2019 and an unfunded desire to rebuild it from Oxford right through to Cambridge. A key element of the plan is to build a Bletchley high level station so that passengers may transfer between the lines. (Note that there is no corresponding east to north route).

    Proposed entrance from Saxon Street

    As part of a project to regenerate Bletchley as a whole, Milton Keynes Council has 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 proposed eastern entrance is to open out into a new station square and a transport interchange where an at-grade pedestrian crossing across Saxon Street would give access to the town centre and bus station. In the longer term it is planned to construct an underground concourse to link the eastern and western station entrances.

    Development to 2019

    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 was due be open in 2019. Unless Bletchley is bypassed, new high level platforms 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 which currently (May 2014) does not have access to the existing station for trains between Oxford and Milton Keynes Central without reversing).

    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. However, on 7 July 2014, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership announced that the Government had allocated £64.6M funding for various projects that includes a £1.5M contribution towards the cost of this work.

    Ticket office opening hours

    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. 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. 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.

    Services

    Southwards, London Midland operate services to Watford Junction & London Euston (3 per hour off-peak). As of July 2016, Southern runs a restricted service to South Croydon via the West London Line. Northwards, both operators run services to Milton Keynes Central, with London Midland continuing on to Northampton, Rugby and Birmingham New Street.

    There is also one train to and from Crewe on weekdays. Additional London Midland services to/from Euston start and terminate here during the rush hour.

    Services also operate hourly between Bletchley and Bedford on the Marston Vale Line on Monday to Saturday only.

    References

    Bletchley railway station Wikipedia


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