* indicates required

Rail services suspended as train maintenance company enters administration

TRAIN services between Bedford and Bletchley on the Marston Vale Line have been temporarily suspended, operator London Northwestern Railway has confirmed.

The suspension follows confirmation yesterday (Thursday) that Vivarail, the company which maintains the Class 230 trains on the route, has entered administration.

A rail replacement service will be in place from today (Friday) until further notice while alternative arrangements are considered.

LNWRE engineering director John Doughty said: “I apologise to our customers who will be impacted by the temporary suspension of the train service on the Marston Vale Line.

“Following the news that Vivarail is to enter administration, we have been left with no alternative but to pause the service as we can no longer guarantee the required level of maintenance for the trains on the route will be available.

“We are working hard to find a solution which will enable us to return a train service to the line as soon as possible and we will keep our passengers updated.”

Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart, who was recently elected as chair of the Transport Select Committee, has written to LNWR to ask how long the Marston Vale train route is likely to be suspended as well as requesting regular updates on the situation.

Mr Stewart pictured left said: “It is sad news to learn of Vivarail entering administration and so causing the suspension of the Marston Vale line between Bletchley and Bedford.

“I am fully aware of how this announcement will cause disruption for my constituents and users of this line. That is why I have written to LNWR to ask for predicted time frame and for regular updates on the line suspension.

“I want to put on record my thanks to LNWR for acting quickly to put on the rail replacement bus service to allow the line users to still be able to travel for work, education or leisure.”


The news comes ahead of the Marston Vale route introducing an hourly timetable between Bedford and Bletchley in the coming weeks. The Marston Vale line will eventually become part of the East West Rail line that will link Cambridge and Oxford through Bletchley.

Vivarail has been operating since 2013,  working on the development of battery technology that has included a Fast Charge system that can recharge a battery-powered train in ten minutes.

The technology is set to be used for the first time next year when Vivarail’s Class 230 trains are due to enter service on the West Ealing to Greenford service in London.

Vivarail had been seeking new investment but in a statement said that it had failed to finalise agreement with potential investotrs and the business had been affected by slow market conditions and delays in reaching certain key commercial arrangements.

More from Bedford:

More transport articles: