Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership – Your Local Railway

Discover the Marston Vale Line – Your Community Railway This Spring! 

The Marston Vale Line (Bedford – Bletchley) has a packed programme for the spring! We are delighted to be participating in the first Greensand Country Festival over May half-term – please visit for the full programme.

History through Word & Song Trains – Sat 26 MayWed 30 May, Fri 1 & Sat 2 June
A first for the Marston Vale Line! A guided train journey between Bedford Midland and Woburn Sands. The guides will provide an insight into the history of the Line with local musician Geraldine Pearson Green performing her own Bedfordshire folk songs at intervals during the journey. Normal train fares apply. No booking required. Meet at Bedford Midland Station at 11:45am and 1:45pm
Guided walk from Woburn Sands to Ridgmont – Sat 26 MayWed 30 May & Fri 1 June – 1:15pm
Depart 1:15pm On arrival at Woburn Sands passengers can join a guided walk to Ridgmont and then catch the return train to Bedford. Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre is open until 4pm. Advance booking recommended for the Heritage Centre Tea Room – call 01525 287120/ 07512 619162.
Folk Singer Geraldine – Sat 26 MayWed 30 May, Fri 1 & Sat 2 June 12:30pm – 1:10pm & 2:30pm – 3:10pm
Alternatively on arrival at Woburn Sands, Folk Singer Geraldine will perform further songs on the platform prior to the departure of the return train to Bedford. Refreshments available at the Station Tavern adjacent to the station. Free Event. No booking required. Meet on the platform.
Guided Walk from Bow Brickhill to to Woburn Sands – Wed 30 May, 2:30pm – 4:15pm
Free Event – No booking required. The Bedford to Bletchley Rail Users’ Association (BBRUA) is hosting a guided walk from Bow Brickhill Station to Woburn Sands. Trains depart Bedford at 1:55 and Bletchley at 2:01. The walk will cross the road from Bow Brickhill Rail Station and proceed over a stile onto footpaths, up a gradual and fairly steep gradient, across a field with a view of Milton Keynes. Finishing by walking through woodland to Woburn Sands. Meeting Point is Bow Brickhill Rail Station.Please or call 07778 562259 for further information.
Bedfordshire Brickworks Exhibition – Saturday 2nd June (10:00am– 4:00pm) – Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre – Free Entry!
Andrew Mortlock, London Brick Archivist, will be bringing an extensive collection of archives, photographs and ephemera connected with the brickworks that used to dominate the landscape along the section of the Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Ridgmont and other areas of Bedfordshire. Andrew will also be bringing his collection of company magazines, the Phorpres News, containing records and photographs of London Brick Company workers.
Andrew and his family are steeped in London Brick with over 200 years’ service dating back to both his grandfathers. Those who came last year were fascinated by Andrew’s exhibition, and in fact a lot of new information came to light from visitors who had connections with the brickmaking industry, either personally or through family. The Heritage Centre and Tea Room will be open as usual.

Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre
The Heritage Centre is the restored jewel of the Marston Vale Line featuring the original Victorian Booking Office (with historical displays & temporary exhibitions), vintage Tea Room (in the former Ladies Waiting Room) and Gift Shop. Free entry! 10% discount in the Tea Room for rail passengers! Please visit for full details of the building. A Family Quiz and Puzzle Booklet is available for just £1.

The latest temporary exhibition ‘The Journey from Bunyan to the Brickworks’ features part of the Pride Inspiration Hope Exhibition created by John Bunyan Museum & Library in partnership with Bedford Chronicles as part of the project The Journey from Bunyan to the Brickworks. This exhibition combines items from that exhibition together with previously unseen items from the Heritage Centre collection. There are a variety of circular & linear walks from the Heritage Centre to suit all abilities. Opening hours for 2018 are as follows:
  • Tea Room – daily all year except Mondays & Bank Holidays 9:00 – 4:00 (last orders 3:30). Sundays open 11:00 – 3:00 (bookings only) Booking recommended at other times– call 01525 287120/07512 619162
  • Gift Shop, Original Victorian Booking Office & Tourist Information Point – Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 4:00 until 15th December(11:-00 – 3:00 from 1st November) Call 01525 287121 or visit

Group & school visits welcome all year round by prior arrangement.

Museum Explorer Passport Scheme

The Heritage Centre is participating in the Museum Expolorer Passport Scheme again this summer along with other museums and heritage centres across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire & Essex. Collect your free passport from any partipating attraction, get it stamped at each museum you visit and take part in the missions!

See and for full details.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or would like further information on any aspect of the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership or the Marston Vale Line.

Happy travelling!

Kind regards,

Stephen Sleight

Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership Officer

Tel. 01234 832645 (direct line)


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Network Rail Public Consultation – Bromham Road Bridge

Network Rail is planning to demolish and then reconstruct Bromham Road Bridge to enable electrified wires to pass safely beneath. Network rail is seeking additional land rights, powers and planning permission.

You are invited to find out more about this proposal at a consultation event to be held on Thursday 24 May 2018 between 14:00 ad 20:00 at the Park Inn Hotel in Bedford. See details below:-

Public Consultation – Bromham Road Bridge


GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – Biddenham Parish Council

Biddenham Parish Council are currently reviewing their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which is effective from the 25th May 2018.

With that in mind a number of users of this site have previously registered with the Biddenham Parish Council website for inclusion in the subscriber list. In line with the new GDPR legislation we are now seeking your consent to continue to retain your name and email details, in order that we may continue to notify you of new posts.

If you are happy to continue to receive future notifications then no further action is required.

Should you wish us to remove your email from the list then please indicate now by emailing with your request.

If you haven’t previously registered and now wish to do so please click here for further details

Biddenham Parish Council

Bedford Junior Parkrun

Hopefully with the summer coming, now is a good opportunity for families with children to participate in the Junior Parkrun  it is located at Jubilee Park. in Bedford

It take place every Sunday morning at 9am.  It is a series of 2k runs for children aged between 4 and 14. Parents can run with their children but they will not be timed through the finishing gateway. After the completion of 11, 21 and 50 separate runs, children are entitled to free wrist bands.

The Parkrun is free, safe and easy to take part in. If you are not a junior and wish to participate as an adult then please come along to the Great Denham or Bedford instead.

Registered park-runners do not need to register separately for the junior events. However, if you are not already registered with parkrun you can do so here.

We look forward to seeing you at the next junior parkrun!

Oakley Road Overbridge – investigations to Oakley Road Overbridge (over the A6)

A message from the Borough Council for those of you who may use Oakley Bridge:-

I wanted to inform you about some work that is required to a bridge on the A6 near Oakley. A few weeks ago a low loader passed southbound along the A6 under the Oakley Road bridge (between Oakley and Clapham). Unfortunately a bucket from the digger that it was carrying hit the beam on the edge of the bridge and caused significant damage, as can be seen in the attached photographs. A lane above was shut with immediate effect on safety grounds until the effects on the bridge could be fully determined. As a result of this process it is necessary to complete some detailed examination of the welds/paintwork on the damaged girder, which will require a closure of the A6 southbound dual carriageway between the Oakley Road exit and the Clapham Road/Paula Radcliffe Way/The Great Ouse Way roundabout, Bedford.

Works are programmed to start overnight from 8th May 2018 and run for up to 10 weekday nights. A temporary diversion route will be in operation through Clapham, as per the drawing. These works will be overseen by me.

In the meantime if there are any issues that you would like to raise then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards,

James Salmon MEng CEng MICE
Principal Structures Engineer
Engineering Services


Network Rail Overview – Bromham Road Bridge

Britain’s railway is a remarkable success story. It is the fastest growing, the safest and one of the most reliable railways in Europe. Passenger numbers have doubled over the last 20 years, with both passenger and freight journeys forecast to keep growing.

To meet rising demand, the Midland Main Line, which runs between London St Pancras, and Sheffield, is undergoing the largest upgrade since it was completed in 1870. The upgrade will enable over 1000 additional seats an hour in the peak into London from 2020, an increase of more than 50%.

Upgrades to deliver these benefits include track realignment, station remodelling, platform construction and lengthening, capacity works, bridge reconstructions, signalling works and electrification of the line from Bedford to Kettering and Corby to power modern electric and bi-mode trains.

The Midland Main Line Upgrade is a part of our long term plan to work together to change, improve and secure prosperity for Britain. By delivering this upgrade and other improvements, the partnership railway will secure almost £85bn* of additional economic benefits for the country. (*Source: Rail Delivery Group)

What are the benefits?

Although more trains are running than ever before, growth in passenger numbers is outstripping supply. Our network, our stations and our platforms are having to deal with more passengers than they were ever designed for. An investment of over £1bn is being made in the Midland Main Line that enable better, more comfortable and efficent journeys from 2020, with more seats and less crowding. This investment will support the growth of the regional economies, connecting people to more job, education and leisure opportunities.

Midland Main Line improvements will mean electrification of the line from Bedford to Kettering & Corby by 2020. Electrifying the railway enables modern, fast trains with increased seating to operate on our network. Bi-mode trains in electric mode are: quieter than diesel trains – benefitting passengers and people living close to the railway and better for the environment – saving fuel and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Consent for the work

Network Rail will continue to seek to engage with relevant landowners to secure the land and air requirements for the proposed scheme by consent. However, as it has not been possible to secure all of these by negotiation at this stage, Network Rail intends to submit an application for an order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 (TWAO) for the purposes of reconstructing Bromham Road Bridge and also to confer powers and deemed planning permission for the work.

Detailed plans

During the reconstruction works, the section of Bromham Road over the bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic and a diversion will operate. Pedestrian access will be maintained via temporary footbridge throughout the work.  Permanent land acquisition is required to help meet modern safety standards – including the construction of vehicle incursion barriers.

Temporary land access is required to accommodate the temporary pedestrian bridge and store materials/equipment to reduce construction vehicle traffic. Air rights are also required for the intermittent use of a crane in handling heavy materials.


The existing brick arch structure will be demolished to approximately half way down the bridge piers. The new bridge will consist of pre cast reinforced concrete beams that form the deck and parapets. The new bridge deck will sit on pre cast reinforced concrete units that are mounted on the existing brick piers.

The works will take approximately 6 months during which the section of Bromham Road over the bridge will be closed to vehicle traffic and an accompanying diversion will operate. Pedestrian access will be maintained via temporary footbridge which will be constructed and remain in place until completion of the work.


The Railway is a sustainable form of transport. We work hard to reduce our impact on the environment and put rail at the heart of a low carbon economy. A Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) will be developed and will identify appropriate management practices for all key environmental aspects including:

-Traffic management
-Noise management
-Air quality: dust management, materials handling, soil storage plan – including agricultural soils management
-Ecology: invasive species management and protected species and habitat management

How to have your say

We now want your opinion on our proposal to inform our plans. You can engage in the consultation process:

1)    By attending the consultation event to share your views with our representatives.
2)    By completing the online feedback form at the bottom of this page
3)    By emailing your views to:

You can also direct any questions about Network Rail and its work to Network Rail’s 24 hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

Give Us Your Views

Online Survey


  • Consultation event

From 20 Apr 2018 at 12:00 to 20 Apr 2018 at 18:00

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