Bedford St Johns
The current Bedford St Johns station was opened in 1984 and is the second station to bear the name. It is the smaller of the two stations in Bedford and is indescribably grotty!
The original St Johns station was opened, as Bedford, in 1846 by the Bedford Railway as the terminus of the line from Bletchley and was the first to be opened in the town. From 1968 when the section of the “varsity” line from Bedford to Cambridge closed users of surviving Bedford – Bletchley line had as its eastern terminus at an unstaffed, dilapidated and inconveniently situated station some distance from the main line station. It survived until 1984 when the station was moved about ¼ a mile into the former St Johns goods yard and a new connection was created to allow trains to run from the Marston Vale Line to Bedford station.
As you can see the station, served by hourly London Midland trains, is spartan in the extreme with a single short, narrow platform, a bench and a shelter. The facilities were recently enhanced by the provision of a passenger information screen. The station is accessed by steep stairs from the over bridge or a new looking level walking route to the nearby council offices off the end of the platform. Despite the simple nature of the station it is well used with nearly 163,000 passengers last year which is up from 361 passengers in 2005!
There is some suggestion that if East-West rail ever comes to fruition the station may move back to its ordinal location! Time will tell.