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Milton Keynes Central railway station

milton keynes central railway station
Milton Keynes Central railway station serves Central Milton Keynes and the surrounding area of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England The station is located on the West Coast Main Line between the stations of Bletchley and Wolverton, both of which are also within Milton Keynes The station is served by Virgin Trains intercity services, and by London Midland and Southern regional services

This station is one of the five stations serving Milton Keynes The others are Wolverton north Milton Keynes, Bletchley south Milton Keynes, Fenny Stratford also south Milton Keynes and Bow Brickhill south-east Milton Keynes In addition, Woburn Sands railway station is just outside the Milton Keynes boundary and serves the south-east of the Borough Milton Keynes Central, which opened on 17 May 1982,1 is by far the busiest and most important of these, as well as being the largest in terms of platforms in use, having overtaken Bletchley when platforms 2A and 6 became operational


  • 1 History and development
    • 11 Opening
    • 12 2006–08 developments
  • 2 Platforms and layout
  • 3 Local facilities and interchange
  • 4 Services
    • 41 London Midland
    • 42 Virgin Trains
    • 43 Southern
  • 5 Future services
    • 51 East West Rail
    • 52 Grand Central
  • 6 Service summary
  • 7 Location
  • 8 In film
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links

History and developmentedit


The station was opened by British Rail on 14 May 1982 in an official ceremony with full public opening three days later2 Before it opened, Bletchley railway station was the main station for Milton Keynes, served by British Rail InterCity services These services moved to the new station, downgrading Bletchley

2006–08 developmentsedit

The station lobby, with the huge National Rail logo above the entrance Looking south from Milton Keynes Central, showing the bay platform 2A and the track on the left, which leads into platform 1 under the bridge The bridge in the middle distance carries H6 Childs Way

In May 2006, the Department of Transport announced a plan to upgrade the station3 The first phase added a down fast line platform 6, so that the existing platform 5 could be used for stopping express trains in either direction The second phase provided an additional terminating bay platform 2A, nominally to extend the Marston Vale Line Bedford/Bletchley service via the WCML to Milton Keynes Central This 5-car bay platform is indented into platform 1 The original platform 1 line was extended northwards from 'bay' to 'through' becoming the up slow line, and platform 2 line is now a 'centre' terminating and reversing line, avoiding conflicting crossing movements This work was completed on 29 December 2008 As of 2014update, a direct service between Bedford and Milton Keynes is not in any published plan, being overtaken by later events see next

Platforms and layoutedit

The main body of Milton Keynes Central, showing the triple island platform layout and the footbridge The large station building provides the backdrop Platform 6 is closest to the camera

Milton Keynes Central has a total of seven platforms Platforms 1 and 3 are the south and northbound slow platforms, while 4 and 6 are the south and northbound fast platforms Platforms 2 and 5 are reversible, being slow and fast respectively Platform 2 is used by terminating services from London Euston and East Croydon, whilst platform 5 is used by London Midland services to Birmingham New Street and Crewe Platform 2A is a five-car south-facing bay platform originally intended for the extension of Marston Vale Line services into Milton Keynes Central This proposal no longer appears in plans for the East West Rail Link, being replaced by a planned service to/from Oxford Meanwhile, platform 2A is used only by exception when additional platform capacity is needed, such as when there is a service delay The platform will also be used for services to Oxford and Aylesbury see 'Future Services' below To the north of the station the six lines reduce to four two slow and two fast, whilst there is a mile of five-track running to the south before this also reduces back to four

Ticket gates are in operation

Local facilities and interchangeedit

The main building of the station, photographed from platform 1

The station building has a shop and café There are other shops and restaurants on the south side of the station square There are a number of hotels on Midsummer Boulevard which begins opposite the station and leads up into the central business district

The station forecourt is the terminus or key intermediate destination for many bus services; almost all local and district bus services stop there These services are operated mostly by Arriva as well as some routes by Stagecoach and a number of independent operators Numerous bus services each hour traverse Midsummer Boulevard, connecting the station to the shopping centre, the theatre and Xscape There is a public toilet in this area

Stagecoach operate four major long-distance routes from here Their 99 coach route runs to Luton Airport via Luton railway station, providing a direct link between the West Coast Main Line and the Midland Main Line4 Their X5 coach route between Oxford and Cambridge stops here, as do their X4 and X7 interurban bus routes to Northampton, Leicester and Peterborough Arriva the Shires and Essex also operate route X60 to Aylesbury, which terminates at the station5 National Express coach services run from the Milton Keynes Coachway, about 45 miles 72 km away, served from this station by the 300 bus or the X5

The Milton Keynes redway system, a comprehensive network of cycle/pedestrian shared paths, connects to the station and its cycle parking facilities

Also in the station forecourt, there is a taxi rank to the left and a pick-up space for private hire cars to the right, plus limited very short term parking There is a multi-story car-park to the north of the station Parking in the surrounding streets is heavily restricted to discourage commuter parking

The station square itself is a favourite site for skateboarding and freestyle BMX and as a result the granite facings of the planting surrounds have suffered from the continuous bumping and grinding This has lessened somewhat since the opening of a dedicated skateboarding park Sk8 MK close to the former central bus station6


A London Midland class 350 standing at platform 2 after having terminated with a service from London

London Midlandedit

Before Milton Keynes Central was built The WCML near Loughton Siding signal box in 1957

Milton Keynes Central is a principal start and terminus for London Midland's services to/from London Euston, and a major stop on others terminating/initiating at Northampton, Crewe or Birmingham New Street During off-peak daytime hours, London Midland operate five departures per hour to Euston, two trains per hour to Birmingham New Street via Northampton, one train per hour to Crewe, and one train per hour that terminates at Northampton There are additional London Midland services during the rush hour7

Virgin Trainsedit

Virgin Trains stop many of their inter-city services here, with three calls an hour in each direction off-peak on weekdays Southbound services are to London Euston, northbound services are to Glasgow/Edinburgh via Birmingham New Street, to Manchester Piccadilly and to Chester with certain trains extending to Bangor and Holyhead for ferry connections to Dun Laoghaire or to Dublin Port Additional services operate in the morning peak and evening peaks to and from Liverpool Lime Street, Preston, Glasgow Central via Trent Valley Line, Wolverhampton and other destinations7


Since 2009 Milton Keynes has also been served by Southern, providing an hourly service via the West London Line towards Clapham Junction and East Croydon, avoiding central London

Future servicesedit

East West Railedit

Main article: East West Rail Link

From 2019, services are planned to operate over a rebuilt East West Rail Link to Oxford via Bletchley, Winslow and Bicester Town; and also to London Marylebone via Aylesbury and High Wycombe89 Extension of the Oxford service to Reading has been mooted

Grand Centraledit

Grand Central has been given permission to run 6 trains a day from London to Blackpool North from 2018, with conditional permission for a stop at Milton Keynes Central dependent upon future capacity after infrastructural work on the West Coast Main Line 10

Service summaryedit

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Wolverton or
  London Midland
London commuter service
  Bletchley or
Leighton Buzzard
Rugby   London Midland
Wolverton   London Midland
  Bletchley or
Watford Junction
Birmingham New Street or
Coventry or Rugby
  Virgin Trains
WCML West Midlands Route
London–West Midlands
  London Euston or
Watford Junction
Stoke on Trent or Crewe or
  Virgin Trains
WCML Manchester Route
  London Euston or
Watford Junction
Rugby or Stafford   Virgin Trains
WCML Liverpool Route
  Watford Junction or
London Euston
Crewe or Nuneaton   Virgin Trains
WCML North Wales Route
London–Chester/North Wales/Holyhead for Dublin
  London Euston
Coventry   Virgin Trains
West Coast Main Line
London–Scotland/North West
  London Euston
Rugby   Virgin Trains
West Coast Main Line
London–Glasgow/North West
  London Euston or
Watford Junction
Terminus   Southern
West Coast Main Line
Milton Keynes–South Croydon
  Future services  
Nuneaton   Grand Central
WCML North Wales Route
London–Blackpool North
  London Euston
Terminus   East West Rail Link
Milton Keynes Central — Oxford and Reading
Terminus   East West Rail Link, London — Aylesbury
Milton Keynes Central — London Marylebone


Milton Keynes Central
zoom in

The station is to the west of Central Milton Keynes, near the junction of the A5 with the A509 The nearest post-code is MK9 1LA

In filmedit

The station and its plaza were used in the movie Superman IV: The Quest for Peace as a substitute for the United Nations building Other scenes were shot in the Central Milton Keynes area


  1. ^ Butt, RVJ 1995 The Directory of Railway Stations Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd p 160 ISBN 1-85260-508-1 R508 
  2. ^ "Milton Keynes Central Opened" Railway Magazine Vol 128 no 974 June 1982 p 258 ISSN 0033-8923 
  3. ^ West Coast Main Line: Progress Report – May 2006
  4. ^ "VT99 Timetable" PDF Borough of Milton Keynes / Stagecoach Retrieved 7 October 2011 
  5. ^ http://wwwarrivabuscouk/serviceInformationaspxid=21271
  6. ^ sk8m8 : Sk8MK Skate Plaza – Milton Keynes
  7. ^ a b GB National Rail Timetable December 2015 – May 2016, Table 66
  8. ^ Rail Magazine, Issue 685, 14–28 December 2011, Pages 10–11
  9. ^ Bucks Herald 31 March 2014 "Disappointment as East West Rail delayed by two years" Retrieved 1 May 2014 
  10. ^ Topham, Gwyn "Virgin has a rival: GNWR to run London to Blackpool west coast rail service" The Guardian Retrieved 7 August 2015 

External linksedit

  • Train times and station information for Milton Keynes Central railway station from National Rail
  • Pendolino rounds Wolverton bend before coming to a stop at Milton Keynes Central

milton keynes central railway station

Milton Keynes Central railway station Information about

Milton Keynes Central railway station

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