|Location||West Bletchley, Borough of Milton Keynes|
|Managed by||London Northwestern Railway|
|Classification||DfT category C2|
|Original company||London and Birmingham Railway|
|Pre-grouping||London and North Western Railway|
|Post-grouping||London, Midland and Scottish Railway|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Bletchley is a railway station that serves the southern parts of Milton Keynes, England (especially Bletchley itself), and the north-eastern parts of Aylesbury Vale. It is 47 miles (75 km) northwest of Euston, about 32 miles (51 km) east of Oxford and 17 miles (27 km) west of Bedford, and is one of the six railway stations serving the Milton Keynes urban area.[a]
It includes junctions of the West Coast Main Line with the Bletchley-Bedford Marston Vale Line and the disused Bletchley-Oxford Varsity line. It is the nearest main line station for Bletchley Park (the World War II codebreaking centre and modern heritage attraction) and Stadium MK (the home of Milton Keynes Dons F.C).
The London and Birmingham Railway, now part of the "West Coast Main Line", was officially opened from 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 Bletchley station opened some time between 2 November 1838 and 20 June 1839. The station was known as Bletchley & Fenny Stratford between 1841 and 1846 and after the opening of the Marston Vale line was referred to in timetables as Bletchley Junction from 1851 to 1870. 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.
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 and facilities
There are six platforms in use, numbered 1 to 6 from west to east. Platforms 1 and 2 primarily serve the West Coast Main Line (WCML) fast lines used by Avanti West Coast expresses that do not stop at the station and consequently normally see little or no use unless other platforms are unavailable. Platforms 3 and 4 serve the WCML slow lines and are used by London Northwestern Railway services between Euston and Birmingham New Street, along with Southern's Milton Keynes Central–East Croydon trains. Platforms 5 and 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 exceptionally by main line trains). Bedford trains normally start and terminate at platform 6, but can use platform 5 if required. There are carriage sidings to the north of the station (along with the now closed train maintenance depot), whilst the high level flyover carrying the former Varsity Line towards Oxford crosses the main lines to the south. The main buildings and station entrance are located on the west (Bletchley Park) side of the complex, off Sherwood Drive.
There are ticket barriers controlling access to the platforms.
East West route
As well as being on the national north–south West Coast Main Line, Bletchley is also on the east–west former Cambridge–Oxford Varsity line, though as of November 2018[update] only the section between Bletchley and Bedford (the "Marston Vale line") and the section between Oxford and Bicester Village are open for passenger services. As of July 2020[update], the route beyond Bletchley to the west through Winslow to Bicester is closed, but work has begun to rebuild and reopen this section. There is a funded project to build or rebuild the entire route between Oxford and Cambridge.
Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership
Bletchley, in common with other stations on this line, is covered by the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership, which aims to promote the line by encouraging local users to take an active interest in it.
East West Rail
East West Rail is a major project to establish a strategic railway connecting East Anglia with Central, Southern and Western England. In particular, it plans to build (or rebuild) a line linking Oxford and Cambridge via Bicester, Milton Keynes (at Bletchley) and Bedford. This aspect of the plan reuses the route of the former Varsity Line, extensively re-engineered. The project includes a spur to Aylesbury. There is a funded, scheduled, plan to re-open this route to passenger traffic via Bicester to Oxford by 2025 and an unfunded plan to re-open the entire route between Oxford and Cambridge. A key element of the plan is to extend Bletchley station up to the flyover and build high level platforms so that passengers may transfer between the lines. The new platforms are to be specified as suitable for trains no longer than four cars.:27
The Bletchley Flyover from Oxford by-passes the original Bletchley station, leading east towards Bedford or north to join the WCML at a junction north of the current (low-level) station. It was built in 1959 as part of the 1955 British Rail Modernisation Plan. At the time it was expected to carry as many as 80 trains a day; however it is no longer in use (as of November 2020[update]). In April 2020, work began to remove the sections of the flyover crossing the WCML. From 5 July 2020, in a project expected to last three months, work began on replacement of the sections crossing Buckingham Road (on the east side of WCML). In total, 14 of the flyover's 37 spans will need to be replaced. As of October 2020[update], this phase of the programme of works at Bletchley is planned for completion in 2022.
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.
Following approval on 29 November 2011 of the western section of East West Rail between Oxford and Bedford via Bletchley, the route was expected to open in 2019. The plan provides for new high level platforms to be built on the Bletchley Flyover as the line has no direct route through the existing station without reversing.
On 7 July 2014, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership announced that the Government had allocated £64.6 million funding for various projects that includes a £1.5 million contribution towards the cost of this work. However, as of October 2018[update], work on the high-level platforms or the Saxon Street entrance had yet to begin.
In July 2017, Network Rail began a public consultation on the details of its proposals for the Bicester–Bedford section of East West Rail. The consultation documents provide detailed drawings for the high-level platforms but do not include any details about the station itself.[b]
As part of the programme that includes removal and replacement of the Flyover, work further around the curve is scheduled to build two new high-level platforms, to be connected to the main station. Engineering completion of these new platforms is anticipated for Spring 2022. As of November 2020[update], a date for start of services remains to be announced.
Ticket office opening hours
In mid September 2012, the Transport Minister Norman Baker announced in a 'written answer' that the Government had approved London Midland's request to reduce the opening hours of the ticket office to close at 21:00 on Mondays and 20:00 on Tuesdays to Fridays. Defending the Government's decision to reduce the opening hours at Bletchley 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 would put into question the opening hours of the station toilets and waiting room.
- London Northwestern Railway
- 3 tph to London Euston
- 1 tph to Milton Keynes Central
- 1 tph to Rugeley Trent Valley
- 1 tph to Cannock
- 1 tph to Bedford
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
|London Northwestern Railway|
|Terminus||London Northwestern Railway|
|East West Rail
Oxford or Reading – Milton Keynes Central
|Milton Keynes Central|
|East West Rail
Oxford - Cambridge
towards Bedford or Norwich or Ipswich
|East West Rail
London Marylebone-Milton Keynes Central
|Milton Keynes Central|
Line and station closed
|London Midland Region of British Railways|
Oxford – Cambridge
Line and station open
The station is on Sherwood Drive in Old Bletchley, near the B4034. The nearest post-code is MK3 6DZ. In the chainage notation traditionally used on the railway, its location on the West Coast Main Line is 46 miles 54 chains (46.68 mi; 75.12 km) from Euston; to Oxford on the former Varsity line the distance is 31 miles 48 chains (31.60 mi; 50.86 km);[c] and to Bedford it is 16 miles 51 chains (16.64 mi; 26.78 km).
- Historic views
Stations in and around Milton Keynes
West Coast Main Line
All WCML services & branches
All WCML routes shown.
A detailed diagram of the core route can be
found at West Coast Main Line diagram.
East West Rail
- Quick, Michael (2009) . Railway passenger stations in Great Britain: a chronology (4th ed.). Oxford: Railway and Canal Historical Society. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-901461-57-5. OCLC 612226077.
- "The Football Ground Guide (Archived copy)". Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
- "Milton Keynes Heritage" (map), Milton Keynes Development Corporation, 1983.
- Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 42. ISBN 0-906899-01-X.
- "Bletchley station map"NRES; Retrieved 8 September 2016
- Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership
- "East West Rail Bedford to Cambridge Preferred Route Option Report" (PDF). East West Rail. 25 November 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
- "Front Page". East West Rail Consortium. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- EWR Alliance (Atkins Lang O'Rourke, NetworkRail, VolkerRail) (April 2020). "EWR2 Project Newsletter". Retrieved 3 September 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Martin Whitehead (1 October 2019). NETWORK RAIL (EAST WEST RAIL BICESTER TO BEDFORD IMPROVEMENTS) ORDER 201[ ]; APPLICATION FOR DEEMED PLANNING PERMISSION; APPLICATIONS FOR LISTED BUILDING CONSENT (PDF) (Report). Department for Transport (published 3 February 2020). Retrieved 19 February 2020. (Inspector's report)
- Railway Magazine November 1958 p. 737
- Kevin Nicholls (4 May 2020). "Biggest cranes in Europe spotted in Milton Keynes ready for 295-tonne upgrade [as] 60-year-old Bletchley Flyover gets a makeover ahead of Milton Keynes's new East-West rail link". Milton Keynes Citizen. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
- Sally Murrer (2 July 2020). "Three of UK's largest cranes heave out sections of concrete railway flyover in Milton Keynes". Milton Keynes Citizen. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
- Mark Cuzner (July 2020). "EWR2 Project Newsletter - July 2020". East West Rail Alliance. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
- Mark Cuzner (October 2020). "EWR2 Project Newsletter - Autumn 2020". East West Rail Alliance. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
- "Central Bletchley Regeneration Framework; Chapter 9: Bletchley Crossways" (PDF). Milton Keynes Council. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- "East West Rail – Western Section – Prospectus" (PDF). East West Rail. November 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- "Western Section Map" (PDF). East West Rail. November 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2012.[permanent dead link]
- Broadbent, Steve (14–28 December 2011). "Sudden 'yes' for East-West link surprises campaigners". RAIL (685): 10.
- Bucks Herald (31 March 2014). "Disappointment as East West Rail delayed by two years". Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- Network Rail gears up to deliver East-West rail Archived 6 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- SEMLEP awarded £64.6 million Local Growth Deal Press release, SEMLEP, 7/7/2014
- Residents invited to give views on East West Rail link plans – Rail Technology Magazine, 11 July 2017
- "consultation documents". Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
- an artist's impression of the upgraded station, East West Rail Ltd.
- MPs defend reduction in train ticket office opening hours – Milton Keynes Citizen, 18 September 2012
- Engineer's Line References: Euston to Crewe RailwayCodes.org
- Engineer's Line References: Bletchley south junction to Oxford Rewley Road RailwayCodes.org
- Engineer's Line References: Bletchley south junction to Bedford RailwayCodes.org
- The others are Milton Keynes Central, Wolverton, Fenny Stratford, Bow Brickhill, and Woburn Sands
- There is, however, an artist's impression of the upgraded station on the East West Rail Ltd web site.
- 31 miles 22 chains from Bletchley south junction to Oxford Rewley Road  plus 16 chains from Bletchley south junction to Bletchley station.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bletchley railway station.|