Tuesday 16 Mar 2010


Region & Route:
London North Eastern & East Midlands

Built in the 19th century. Rebuilt for the 21st

Network Rail has unveiled images showing its plans for a new, environmentally-friendly station for Bedford. If planning permission is granted, the company aims to have the new station complete in time for the introduction of longer, 12-car trains in December 2011.

The tracks and platforms at Bedford station are currently being transformed as part of the £5.5bn Thameslink upgrade, which will result in more trains, more seats and more comfortable journeys for passengers travelling to or through London.

As part of this redevelopment platform 1A is being extended to accommodate 12-car train (currently it can only cater for 4-car services), creating additional capacity and increasing reliability and punctuality. To enable this new platform and track to be built, major changes will be needed to the station building.

Network Rail has been working with Bedford Borough Council and the Bedford Station Quarter scheme to develop plans to bring passengers a better, more modern station building, along with other great benefits:

  • More room within the station building
  • More entrances, making it quicker and easier to get in and out of the station
  • More modern station, with natural light and ventilation

Dyan Crowther, Network Rail route director, said: “The congestion-busting Thameslink upgrade will give passengers what they want – longer trains and more space. A new station building will complete our investment at Bedford and help make rail travel a more attractive option for everyone.

"Building the new station building alongside the existing one will mean minimal disruption for passengers and allow us to maintain access for the public throughout construction."

Network Rail will be presenting its plans for Bedford station at a public meeting chaired by Bedford and Kempston MP Patrick Hall on Thursday 18th March at 7.15pm. The event is at the Guru Ravi Dass Centre off Ashburnham Road opposite the station.

Residents will also be able to give their thoughts on the plans to Network Rail’s Thameslink team at a special public drop-in event on Wednesday 24 March between 4.30pm and 7.30pm. The event takes place in the Harpur Suite on Harpur Street. All are welcome.

Network Rail intends to submit a full planning application for the new station building to Bedford Borough Council after Easter.

Notes to editors

The Thameslink Programme

By end of 2010 – Better interchange at West Hampstead Thameslink
Completion of a new station entrance/exit and a new step-free footbridge, making it easier to get to and from London Underground and London Overground stations.

By end of 2011 – More space
The first longer 12 carriage trains on First Capital Connect services from Bedford to Brighton

By end of 2011 – New Station for Bedford

By 2012 – New Station at Blackfriars
A new London Blackfriars station spanning the River Thames, giving passengers direct access to both banks of the river

From 2014 – Brand new fleet of trains introduced into service

From 2016 – More Journey Options
A new London Bridge station unlocks the central London bottleneck, allowing up to 24 trains per hour in each direction through the heart of the Capital with new routes and journey options available.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
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Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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