Pictures taken at Ridgmot Station on the Marston Vale line.
The station was opened in 1846 opened in 1846 by the Bedford Railway. The style was dictated by the requirements of the 7th Duke of Bedford. Many of the station on the line were sited on his land and so share a similar design.
The station once had a couple of sidings on each side of the line and a cattle dock. It also served the adjacent Ridgmont Brickworks operated by the Ridgmont Fletton Brick Company. There was an interchange here between the internal narrow gauge line and the exchange sidings. The brickworks were closed in 1981 and demolished in the 2000s to be redeveloped as the Marston Gate distribution centre which is home to a massive Amazon warehouse.
Ridgmont is now the home of the Marston Vale Signalling Centre (the grey portacabins seen in some pictures) which replaced all of the signal boxes on the line in 2004. Before the modernisation of the line there was a lever frame on the platform with the block instruments housed in the booking office in the station building.
Freight facilities were withdrawn in the 1964 with the station becoming unstaffed (except the signal man) in 1968.The station building was largely then redundant) until very recently. It is grade II listed and since September 2013 is now back in use via a lease from Network Rail and to the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.
The station house is now a fantastic little café, a Heritage Centre, a small shop and office rental space. This work was undertaken on behalf of the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity with £500,000 funding from Rural Development Programme for England, Central Bedfordshire Council, WREN, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Railway Heritage Trust and the Wixamtree Trust. If you happen to be close by I would suggest popping in for a cup of tea and a cake!