London Northwestern Railway: Services resume on Marston Vale LineBack to press releases page
Monday, 20 November 2023
Train services resumed this morning (Monday 20 November) on the Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Bletchley.
Operator London Northwestern Railway (LNR) ran its first service on the line since December 2022 - the 7.18am departure from Bletchley.
The line has been served by rail replacement buses since December 2022 after the company which maintained the Class 230 trains previously in use on the route entered administration.
Due to the very short platforms on the Marston Vale Line, only certain types of train can be used on the route. Working with partners in the rail industry, LNR has arranged the transfer of three Class 150 trains from elsewhere in the country so a service can be restored.
Jonny Wiseman, LNR customer experience director, said: “We are delighted that passenger trains are once again running on 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.”
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.
Stephen Sleight, from the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership, said: “I am really pleased that train services have resumed on the Marston Vale Line. The line is a lifeline for the communities along it and means an enormous amount to local people who rely on it for access to education, work, and leisure.
"I am sure passengers will be impressed by the refurbishment of the Class 150s and I look forward to the resumption of the full service in the New Year.”
The Class 150 trains being used on the route were most recently in service with Northern. Each train is wheelchair accessible and has 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.
More information on the project to restore services to the Marston Vale Line over the past 12 months, including details of the partial timetable, is available on the LNR website here .
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast Main Line to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.
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