Train services on the Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Bletchley, replaced with a bus service for nearly a year, will resume on Monday 20th November.

The train services were suspended in December 2022 after Vivarail, the company which maintained the Class 230 trains previously in use on the route entered administration.

It’s taken nearly a year to find replacement trains as the stations on the Marston Vale Line have very short platforms, so only certain types of train can be used on the route. Working with partners in the rail industry, London North Western (LNR) has arranged the transfer of three diesel-powered Class 150 trains from elsewhere in the country so a service can be restored.

Class 150 train in driver training on the Marston Vale Line (c) London North Western

Four services in each direction will initially run on the route on Monday-Fridays. The services will be focused on the morning and afternoon peak periods, with rail replacement buses continuing to operate at other times.

The full timetable, including the return of a Saturday service, is expected to resume in early 2024 once enough train crew are able to operate the Class 150 fleet.

Jonny Wiseman, LNR customer experience director, said: “We are delighted to announce the return of passenger trains to the Marston Vale Line.

“We recognise that due to logistical constraints it has taken longer than we had hoped to bring back the train service and we thank our customers for their patience.

“While we will initially be running a partial timetable, we are working hard to train our drivers and senior conductors as quickly as possible with a view to resuming the full service in the new year.”

The Class 150 trains being used on the route were most recently in service with Northern Trains.

Each train is wheelchair accessible and has a capacity for 173 passengers. The trains have been recently refurbished with features including a universally accessible toilet, an upgraded passenger information system and USB charging points throughout the carriages.

Initial Limited Timetables (Monday-Friday)

Departure Departure Departure Departure
Bletchley 07:18 08:00 15:45 17:45
Fenny Stratford 07:21 08:03 15:48 17:48
Bow Brickhill 07:25 08:07 15:52 17:52
Woburn Sands 07:29 08:11 15:56 17:56
Aspley Guise 07:32 08:14 15:59 17:59
Ridgmont 07:35 08:17 16:02 18:02
Lidlington 07:39 08:21 16:06 18:06
Millbrook 07:42 08:24 16:09 18:09
Stewartby 07:46 08:28 16:13 18:13
Kempston Hardwick 07:49 08:31 16:16 18:16
Bedford St Johns 07:56 08:38 16:23 18:23
Bedford 08:00 08:42 16:27 18:27


Departure Departure Departure Departure
Bedford 08:08 09:17 16:47 18:47
Bedford St Johns 08:11 09:20 16:50 18:50
Kempston Hardwick 08:18 09:27 16:57 18:57
Stewartby 08:21 09:30 17:00 19:00
Millbrook 08:25 09:34 17:04 19:04
Lidlington 08:28 09:37 17:07 19:07
Ridgmont 08:33 09:42 17:12 19:12
Aspley Guise 08:36 09:45 17:15 19:15
Woburn Sands 08:39 09:48 17:18 19:18
Bow Brickhill 08:43 09:52 17:22 19:22
Fenny Stratford 08:46 09:55 17:25 19:25
Bletchley 08:49 09:58 17:28 19:28

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  1. Keith says:

    If East-West rail had pulled their finger out they could potentially have been using the past 10 months to make some of the upgrades to this line, and the few intermediate stations which they’ll be using.

    • ianVisits says:

      It’s exceptionally difficult to summon up the planning approvals, then muster the staff and equipement to carry out upgrades at such short notice.

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