|TRAIN TIMETABLE 1846
AM Midday PM
TRAIN STATIONS JUNE 1848
|TRAIN STATIONS JULY 1868 Midland Railway
Bedford --> Bletchley railway Line
opened in 1846.
London + North Western railway
Bletchley --> Bedford
Augmented by motor car service
|Travel by Roads|
|Bedford - Bletchley line was set out to Brogborough Hill from Bedford to Duke of Lidlington's Estate - this was opposed to cut costs. Thomas John Green, Mayor in 1844, proposed a railway line, this encountered opposition from people who thought that a canal link would be more beneficial. He believed the rail link would benefit trade. His ally was George Stephenson.A plan was drawn up in 1844. Engineers George and Robert Stephenson planned the line that would run between the London and Birmingham area. This would then be amalgamated with the Grand Junction Railway to form London and North Western Railway.
An elaborate turf cutting ceremony was held on the 13th of December 1845 at Ridgemont. The Duchess of Bedford, held the spade that cut the turf. The line then took 11 months to complete. Line opened during November 1846. Delayed by landslides. Train had to climb 1:105 gradient of Brogborough Hill.
There were a number of crossing gates in the 16-mile journey - (15 in total). The Station Master's houses were built of pleasing 1/2 timbered design. They saved money by building low platforms at Millbrook, Lidlington and Ridgemont. No additional stations were built.
In October 1846, the line was inspected by the Board to Trade.The Board of Trade recommended that the line could open, but after bad weather, it actually opened on the 17th of November 1846.
It's report outlined the characteristics 16 miles of track, punctuated with stations, all having booking offices and accommodation for Station Masters or Clerks
Sixteen crossing located, all with gates that closed across roads. The Branch Line has used every type of gate that ever existed. Automatic barriers were installed in 1961 at the Marston Road Crossing (these were the second such set of gates installed in the Country by British Rail).
Bill Simpson Describes The Ceremony
|Click on the photograph to see a movie clip of a steam engine leaving a station. (1.3 mb)|
|1996 celebrated the 150-year anniversary of the Bedford to Bletchley railway line.
The Flying Scotsman passed through Lidlington Station in the early hours of the morning of the 30th of March 1974.
Several 2 funnel trains carried the victims of the R101 airship disaster in October 1930. During this, all shops were closed and houses in view of the station were asked to close all their curtains as a mark of respect. The Lidlington British Legion stood on the platform
Death on the Line
There was a death of the railway line on Saturday the 22nd of July 1882 at 9:36pm. A girl named Susan Garrett, aged 14, and went to meet the sister of Mrs Pearce. She crossed the line in front of the pilot engine and the engine buffer caught the girl in the face, and killed her immediately. She is buried in Lidlington Church.
|Back to top|