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Marston Vale Line celebrates 175 years

A host of activities has been planned for the 175th anniversary of Bedfordshire’s Marston Vale Line.

A commemorative plaque was unveiled Wednesday 17 November, with guests getting the chance to hop on the train to Bedford, before heading back to Ridgmont station for a further plaque unveiling.

On Saturday November 20, an exhibition and activity day at took place at the Bletchley Masonic Centre – just a short walk from Fenny Stratford station, with visitors exploring the model railway and historic displays.

Stephen Sleight, Marston Vale CRP officer, said: “I am delighted the Marston Vale Line has reached its 175th anniversary. My thanks to the team of over 75 station friends & CRP volunteers for their continued hard work and commitment in brightening up our stations, overseeing the day to day running of Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre and helping with events.

“Thanks also to the Bletchley Masonic Centre for sponsoring our 175th Anniversary Exhibition & Fun Day. I look forward to an exciting year ahead.”

Truly historic, the Marston Vale Line was the first ever railway line into Bedford. And as such, a number of the stations on the line were designed by the Duke of Bedford – with many of them fulfilling his vision of looking like private houses, rather than traditional railway stations.

The line is still busy today – nowadays, many use the line to get to Kimberley Sixth Form College in Stewartby.