The Anonymous Widower

The Bletchley Flyover

The Bletchley Flyover is a large flyover that allows trains to cross the West Coast Main Line at Bletchley station.

This Google Map shows the area of Bletchley station and the flyover.

Bletchley Flyover

Bletchley Flyover

The double-track Bletchley Flyover starts in the South-West corner of the map and crosses the West Coast Main Line at an acute angle before, splitting into two separate double-track lines, alongside the station and north of the circular roundabout.

  • One branch goes North along the West Coast Main Line to Milton Keynes.
  • One branch goes East along the Marston Vale Line to Fenny Stratford and Bedford.

It is a massive structure as these pictures show.

I think the problems of incorporating the following services through Bletchley are going to be challenging.

  • Oxford to Milton Keynes
  • Marylebone to Milton Keynes via Aylesbury.
  • Oxford to Bedford.
  • Freight Services.

This section in the FAQ of the East West Rail web site is entitled What train services will run on East West Rail (Western Section)? It says that frequencies of one train per hour will be run, but that more information will be released in 2016.

Will one probably four car train per hour be enough?

This would mean that two trains per hour would visit Milton Keynes. As Platform 2A at Milton Keynes Central can accommodate five car trains and it is electrified, it would appear that that station is ready for the East West Rail Link.

The difficulty also depends if the passenger services stop at Bletchley.

The current plans talk of two high-level platforms on the flyover.

This enlarged Google Map shows the platforms and footbridge at Bletchley station  and the flyover.

Bletchley Station Platforms And The Bletchley Flyover

Bletchley Station Platforms And The Bletchley Flyover

Note.

  • The entrance to the station is on the west side.
  • The two island platforms are 2/3 and 4/5, with two outer platforms 1 and 6.
  • Trains on the Marston Vale Line terminate in Platforms 5 and 6.
  • The flyover is the easternmost pair of lines.
  • It splits into the Milton Keynes and Bedford lines level with the footbridge.
  • The two proposed high-level platforms would be on the narrower part of the flyover, south of the footbridge.

A second entrance to Bletchley station has been proposed for the east side in Saxon Street.

One other thing that could help, is there are aspirations to move the concrete plant out of its location between the flyover and Bletchley station. It is certainly no asset to the area.

The following train services, would appear to have to use the flyover.

  • Oxford to Milton Keynes
  • Milton Keynes to Oxford
  • Marylebone to Milton Keynes
  • Milton Keynes to Marylebone

If trains between Oxford and Bedford, didn’t need to call at Milton Keynes, they would also be able to go straight over the flyover.

If they did need to call at Milton Keynes, then a train from Oxford to Bedford could take the following route.

  • Over the flyover taking the branch to Milton Keynes.
  • Call at Milton Keynes in an appropriate platform.
  • Reverse out and then call in either Platform 5 or 6 at Bletchley.
  • Reverse out and then take the Marston Vale Line.

Effectively, they would call at both the new high-level and current platforms at Bletchley station.

If I was running a train service from say Norwich or Ipswich to Oxford, to maximise my passenger levels, I would want my trains to call at the following stations.

  • Cambridge
  • Bedford – To also connect to services to Nottingham and Sheffield.
  • Milton Keynes – To also connect to services on the West Coast Main Line.

The FAQ says that trains between Oxford to Bedford would not go to Milton Keynes.

I know that passengers would complain, if they had to stand on a draughty Bletchley station for say ten minutes, whilst waiting for a train to Milton Keynes, to get their Glasgow train.

To further complicate matters will other services could want to go between Milton Keynes and Bedford. On current plans, it is probably impossible without a reversal of direction at Bletchley.

A perfect design, would have a double-track chord connecting the Marston Vale Line to the Northbound West Coast Main Line.

 

 

December 14, 2015 - Posted by | Travel | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. […] have now written The The Bletchley Flyover to cover the implications for […]

    Pingback by Future Rail Developments At Milton Keynes « The Anonymous Widower | December 16, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] I discussed the flyover in The Bletchley Flyover. […]

    Pingback by East West Rail To Be A ‘Diesel Commuter Railway’ « The Anonymous Widower | December 15, 2017 | Reply


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