|Location||Bedford, Borough of Bedford|
|Classification||DfT category C1|
|Original company||Midland Railway|
|Post-grouping||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
|1 February 1859||Opened as Bedford|
|1890||Avoiding lines built|
|2 June 1924||Renamed Bedford Midland Road|
|8 May 1978||Renamed Bedford Midland|
|5 May 1988||Renamed Bedford|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Railways in Bedfordshire
Stations around Bedford
Bedford railway station (formerly Bedford Midland Road and historically 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 and 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.
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. 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. The £1 million station, which was re-sited about 110 yards (100 m) north of the original 1857 station, had a large square concourse housing a ticket office, travel centre and Travellers Fare buffet. The station car park was enlarged to cater for 450 cars plus 52 short-wait spaces in the forecourt which had separate areas for cars and taxis to set down and pick up passengers. A covered walkway linked the station with bus stops in Ashburnham Road. As part of the modernisation work, the slow lines were realigned to the west next to the 1890 fast lines to pass between two new platforms.
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. Bletchley trains henceforth used a bay platform (numbered 1A) on the eastern side of the station.
Services at Luton Airport Parkway are operated by Luton Airport Express and Thameslink using Class 360 and 700 EMUs. The Luton Airport Express is run by East Midlands Railway, and became an official separate brand for their "Connect" service in 2023.
The station is predominantly served by three operators and managed by Thameslink.
Most East Midlands Railway services that call at Bedford are Luton Airport Express services. This service started in May 2021 as "EMR Connect" and is operated by Class 360 Electric Multiple Units running on the twice hourly stopping service from London St Pancras to Corby. This was renamed to Luton Airport Express in 2023, and became an official separate brand for their original "Connect" service in 2023.
Occasional “EMR Intercity” services do call at Bedford during the peak hours and on Sunday mornings to Nottingham and Leicester without requiring a connection at Kettering.
The station is the northern terminus of the Thameslink route with Thameslink services operating 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.
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.
The typical off-peak service in trains per hour (tph) is:
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|Wellingborough||Luton Airport Express
|Bedford St Johns||London Northwestern Railway
|Terminus||London, Midland and Scottish Railway||
Line and station closed
Line and station closed
|London, Midland and Scottish Railway||Terminus|
Line open, station closed
Line open, station closed
|Ridgmont||East West Rail
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 Beds & Herts Community Rail Partnership (formerly the Bedford to St Albans City Community Rail Partnership) - has been set up, covering the eight stations on the Midland main line between Bedford Midland and St Albans City
The station has the following facilities:
The station is in the Bedford zone of the PlusBus scheme, where train and bus tickets can be bought together to save money.
The station will be the eastern terminus for Phase 2 of East West Rail, a plan to reopen the railway from Oxford and Aylesbury. As of November 2020[update], 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.