On May 16th a new timetable will be introduced on the Midland Main Line, and with it Bedford’s rail services will settle into a new pattern, after three years of change and disruption. Rail users in the town, particularly those who commute to London, have good reason to look back on this period with anger… Read More May 2021 timetable changes – what do they mean for Bedford?
Introduction This article looks at the extensive proposals to upgrade [EDIT] one of only two parts [/EDIT] of the Oxford to Cambridge route that is currently both in existence and open(ish) to traffic: the Marston Vale line, between Bedford and Bletchley. [The other being between Oxford and Bicester.] As it looks at a whole line,… Read More East West Rail 2021 consultation: the Marston Vale line
The East West Rail consultation proposes a major revival for the second of Bedford’s railway stations, Bedford St Johns. However, there are options for what form it will take. The available options are shaped by the available spaces for new infrastructure, which in turn are dictated by the history of Bedford’s railways in that part… Read More East West Rail 2021 consultation: Bedford St Johns station
For the second article looking at what East West Rail might mean for Bedford, we turn from the controversy surrounding the tracks north of Bedford station, to the station itself. It’s here that the wider benefits to Bedford of East West Rail really start to come into focus. Bedford station is unable to accommodate current… Read More East West Rail 2021 consultation: a new Bedford station
Introduction This is the first in a series of articles looking at the proposals in East West Rail’s current consultation exercise, and what they might mean for Bedford. This blog will particularly look at sections B, C and D of the project, as the consultation calls them: that’s the Marston Vale line, the stretch of… Read More East West Rail 2021 consultation: plans for the Poets
So, we now have sight of the next consultation on East West Rail. It contains an abundance of information about emerging plans for the railway and the different options under consideration. It also includes a shocking new proposal to demolish around 50 homes in the Poets area, and impinge on the gardens or parking areas… Read More The East West Rail consultation
This article summarises the various arguments put forward against the proposed route of the East West Rail link from Bedford to Cambridge – ‘Route E’, as it was designated in the consultation that ran from January to March 2019 – and considers whether they stack up. It focuses on the arguments relating to the railway,… Read More The case against East West Rail ‘Route E’ – is there anything in it?
Last year, concluding this article analysing the selection of ‘Route E’ for the central section of East West Rail, going through Bedford and looping around the town to the north, Bedford Rail wrote: “The exact route has yet to be laid out on the ground, so expect a lot of local bunfights over exactly where… Read More The campaign against East West Rail ‘Route E’ – who, what, and why?
Although the last few articles on this blog have been avowedly COVID updates, as we approach the turn of the year it’s probably appropriate to look ahead rather more broadly. Taking the very biggest picture for the railways first, there are big questions about when social distancing requirements will end and therefore train travel can… Read More The railways, Bedford and 2021
Welcome back to Bedford Rail – it’s time for another review of how the railways around Bedford are being affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been a while since the last one, as your correspondent has been busy with shows on Bedford Radio, and a series of historical articles that will hopefully appear on… Read More Coronavirus and the railways V