Locomotive yard at Bletchley in 1955
|Location||Bletchley, United Kingdom|
|Owner(s)||London Northwestern Railway|
|Type||Diesel, DMU, EMU|
|Original||London and North Western Railway|
|Pre-grouping||London Midland Scottish Railway|
Bletchley TMD is a railway traction maintenance depot situated in Bletchley, Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, to the north east of Bletchley railway station, on a siding off the Marston Vale line. The depot is operated by London Northwestern Railway. The depot code is BY but, in steam days, the shed code was 1E.
The original London and North Western Railway locomotive shed in Bletchley was a wooden and galvanised iron building that catered for some twelve engines, with three roads accommodated within the facility. However during the 1870s the shed collapsed in a gale, burying stabled locomotives and was replaced by two gabled roof spans with numerous ducts and chimneys. When newly rebuilt, it would measure 250 feet (76 m) in length, with a maximum width of 100 feet (30 m). These sheds were situated just north of the railway station on a siding to the west side of the West Coast Main Line, on a site now occupied by today's carpark.
Towards the end of the 19th century, a number of LNWR Lady of the Lake class steam locomotives were employed as pilot engines, with ‘Bletchley Shed’ as their home depot – by then considered an intermediate Loco Shed. The end of British Rail steam in Bletchley came on Monday, 5 July 1965 when 24 steam engines stabled in the Locomotive Shed departed for other parts of the country, the last one taking the 2pm parcels train to Oxford. This was locomotive No. 48610 LMS Stanier Class 8F 2-8-0, which had been stabled at Bletchley for ten years. With the end of steam, the TMD was relocated to the Bedford side of the Varsity line flyover, in a new purpose built facility.
Bletchley TMD began in the modern era in 1965 (though it had existed since 1850, in the age of steam). It closed on 30 June 2008 and its (expired) lease returned to Network Rail. Bletchley had won awards for the reliability of its trains as recently as March 2007, and was said to deliver six times better than average reliability. London Midland phased in the fleet of 37 Class 350//2 Desiro trains, which are maintained by Siemens at the King's Heath depot in Northampton. These replaced the Silverlink Class 321 fleet which had been serviced at Bletchley. Most of the engineers & technicians transferred to the Siemens site and the cleaners to London Midland.
The TMD has also been used for a brief period as a place to store brand new Class 387/1 Thameslink trains (2015)
The local press expressed concern that diesel trains used on the Marston Vale Line, which were previously serviced here, now have to come from Tyseley TMD in Birmingham, with consequent long delays to service resumption in the event of train failure.
This impact has now been rectified by the reopening of the depot and allowing the trains to be maintained near by.
Allocation prior to closure
Stations in and around Milton Keynes
- "The all-time guide to UK Shed and Depot Codes" (PDF). TheRailwayCentre.com. 5 May 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- "Bletchley Railway Heritage". www.mkheritage.co.uk. Retrieved 3 September 2018. Chapter Five
- End of the line for award-winning depot Railnews, 1 July 2008
- Top Fleet Honoured At Bletchley Depot RailwayPeople.com 13 Feb 2007
- More commuter misery down the line: Delays forecast on Marston Vale line following closure of Bletchley train depot Bedford Today
- Milton Keynes on track for rail delays as staff shunted to Birmingham Milton Keynes Citizen 4 June 2008