Bletchley railway station

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Bletchley National Rail
Bletchley Station 02 (25-08-2007).JPG
Place West Bletchley
Local authority Borough of Milton Keynes
Grid reference SP868337
Station code BLY
Managed by London Northwestern Railway
Number of platforms 6
DfT category C2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14 Increase 0.928 million
– Interchange  Increase 80,126
2014/15 Increase 0.989 million
– Interchange  Increase 85,134
2015/16 Increase 1.063 million
– Interchange  Increase 96,701
2016/17 Increase 1.082 million
– Interchange  Increase 100,865
2017/18 Decrease 1.066 million
– Interchange  Increase 103,208
Key dates Opened 1838–1839[1] (1838–1839[1])
Original company London and Birmingham Railway
Pre-grouping London and North Western Railway
Post-grouping London, Midland and Scottish Railway
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Bletchley from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Southward view of platforms.
Station front in 1962

Bletchley is a railway station that serves the southern parts of Milton Keynes, England (especially Bletchley itself), and the north-eastern parts of the Buckinghamshire district 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.

It includes junctions of the West Coast Main Line with the Bletchley-Bedford Marston Vale Line and the disused Bletchley-Oxford Varsity line.

This is one of the six railway stations serving the Milton Keynes urban area.[a]

It is the nearest main line station for Bletchley Park, the World War II codebreaking centre, and also serves Stadium MK, the home of Milton Keynes Dons F.C., at present[b] a 30-minute walk. Fenny Stratford station, on the Marston Vale Line (a limited service branch line) is closer.[2]


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.[1] 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.[1] 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.

The eastward route (to Bedford St Johns) opened in 1846.[3] The westward route (to Buckingham) opened in 1850. This east–west route subsequently became the Oxford – Cambridge "Varsity Line".

Up freight on West Coast Main Line at Bletchley in 1964
A local train for Banbury leaves Bletchley Station in 1948

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.[4]

Layout and facilities

There are six platforms in use here, numbered 1 to 6 from west to east. Platforms 1 and 2 serve the fast lines used by Virgin West Coast expresses that do not stop here and consequently normally see little or no use. They are only used if the slow lines are out of service for engineering work or other exceptional events. Platforms 3 and 4 serve the slow lines and are used by London Northwestern Railway services between Euston and Northampton and Birmingham New Street, along with Southern's Milton Keynes Central to 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 by main line trains from Milton Keynes Central). Bedford trains normally start and terminate in 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.[5]

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 only the central section, the Marston Vale line, between Bletchley and Bedford and the section between Oxford and Bicester Village are open for passenger services.

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.[6]


As of 2018, the route of the beyond Bletchley to the west through Winslow to Bicester is closed.

The high level crossing over the WCML, officially named the "Bletchley Flyover" and comprising seven 56 ft (17 m) spans and built in 1959 as part of the British Rail Modernisation Plan, by-passes Bletchley station. At the time it was expected to carry as many as 80 trains a day[7] and though it remains in place it is not in use. 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. In the view of Milton Keynes Council, a key element of the plan is to build high level platforms at Bletchley so that passengers may transfer between the lines.[8]

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.[8] In the longer term it is planned to construct an underground concourse to link the eastern and western station entrances.[8]

Development to 2025

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.[9][10][11][12] The plan provides for new high level platforms to be built on the flyover as the line has no direct route through the existing station without reversing.[13]

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.[14] However, as of October 2018, 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.[15] The consultation documents provide detailed drawings for the high-level platforms but do not include any details about the station itself.[16][c] In December 2017, the Transport Minister Chris Grayling announced to a press conference at Bletchley Park that a new private sector company, the East West Railway Company, was being established to build and operate the line.[18][19]

Ticket office opening hours

In mid September 2012, the Transport Minister Norman Baker announced in a 'written answer' that the Government has approved London Midland's request to reduce the opening hours of the ticket office, so that the station will close at 21:00 on Mondays and 20:00 on Tuesdays to Fridays.[20] Defending the Government's decision to reduce the opening hours here and at Wolverton, local MPs Iain Stewart and Mark Lancaster said that most passengers use ticket machines to buy or retrieve their tickets.[20] Speaking for the opposition Cooperative and Labour Party, prospective parliamentary candidate Andrew Pakes called it the "thin end of the wedge", that it would put into question the opening hours of the station toilets and waiting room.[20]


Services at Bletchley are operated by London Northwestern Railway and Southern. Off-peak services as of May 2019 are:

London Northwestern Railway


Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
London Northwestern Railway
Terminus London Northwestern Railway
  Future services  
towards Oxford
  East West Rail
Oxford or Reading  – Milton Keynes Central
  Milton Keynes Central
towards Oxford
  East West Rail
Oxford - Cambridge
  Woburn Sands
towards Bedford or Norwich or Ipswich
towards Aylesbury
  East West Rail
London Marylebone-Milton Keynes Central
  Milton Keynes Central
Historical railways
Line and station closed
London Midland Region of British Railways
Oxford  – Cambridge
Line and station open


Bletchley railway station is located in Milton Keynes
Bletchley railway station
Bletchley railway station zoom in
Mapping © OpenStreetMap contributors

The station is on Sherwood Drive in Old Bletchley, near the B4034. The nearest post-code is MK3 6DZ.[21] 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;[22] to Oxford on the former Varsity line the distance is 31 miles 48 chains (31.60 mi; 50.86 km);[23][22][d] and to Bedford it is 16 miles 51 chains (16.64 mi; 26.78 km).[24]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Quick, Michael (2009) [2001]. 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.
  2. ^ "The Football Ground Guide (Archived copy)". Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
  3. ^ "Milton Keynes Heritage" (map), Milton Keynes Development Corporation, 1983.
  4. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 42. ISBN 0-906899-01-X.
  5. ^ "Bletchley station map"NRES; Retrieved 8 September 2016
  6. ^ Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership
  7. ^ Railway Magazine November 1958 p. 737
  8. ^ a b c "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.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "Western Section Map" (PDF). East West Rail. November 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2012. [permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Broadbent, Steve (14–28 December 2011). "Sudden 'yes' for East-West link surprises campaigners". RAIL (685): 10.
  12. ^ Bucks Herald (31 March 2014). "Disappointment as East West Rail delayed by two years". Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  13. ^ Network Rail gears up to deliver East-West rail Archived 6 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ SEMLEP awarded £64.6 million Local Growth Deal Press release, SEMLEP, 7/7/2014
  15. ^ Residents invited to give views on East West Rail link plans – Rail Technology Magazine, 11 July 2017
  16. ^ "consultation documents". Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  17. ^ an artist's impression of the upgraded station, East West Rail Ltd.
  18. ^ "Chancellor accepts East West Rail targets and strengthens plans with extra cash".
  19. ^ Transport Secretary officially launches East West Railway Company at Bletchley Park East West Rail, 22 November 2017
  20. ^ a b c MPs defend reduction in train ticket office opening hoursMilton Keynes Citizen, 18 September 2012
  21. ^
  22. ^ a b c Engineer's Line References: Euston to Crewe
  23. ^ a b Engineer's Line References: Bletchley south junction to Oxford Rewley Road
  24. ^ Engineer's Line References: Bletchley south junction to Bedford


  1. ^ The others are Milton Keynes Central, Wolverton, Fenny Stratford, Bow Brickhill, and Woburn Sands
  2. ^ (2017). When the proposed entrance from Saxon Street opens, this will be roughly halved
  3. ^ There is, however, an artist's impression of the upgraded station on the East West Rail Ltd web site.[17]
  4. ^ 31 miles 22 chains from Bletchley south junction to Oxford Rewley Road [23] plus 16 chains from Bletchley south junction to Bletchley station.[22]

External links

  • Train times and station information for Bletchley railway station from National Rail

Coordinates: 51°59′42″N 0°44′10″W / 51.995°N 0.736°W / 51.995; -0.736

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