Bedford - Cambridge Line
THE L. and N.W. Railway opened
On the 11th July the Bedford and Cambridge Railway was opened. "The peaceful thoroughfares of St. John and 8t. Mary, filled with well-dressed crowds, woke up from their long trance of quiet, and the old inhabitants, rubbing their eyes at the unwonted spectacle, welcomed back the good old times." At nine o'clock a.m. the first passenger train, composed of 25 carriages, containing several hundred passengers, quitted the Bedford station, and was joined at the intermediate stations by numerous others who accepted the invitation of the directors to visit Cambridge. In a long and racy description of the line, occurs the following passage :-"Bedfordshire may claim this railway as a public work mainly of its own creation, for its most active promoters have been the landowners and men of business of the county," and the name of Mr. W. H. Whitbread was honourably mentioned in this connexion. The time-tables published this year described the above railway as the London and North Western line. Five trains a day ran each way. The other line then existing was the present Midland section between Leicester and Bedford, connecting these towns with London, via Hitchin.
Extract from: J. Hamson, Bedford Town and Townsmen 1845-1895 Bedfordshire Times, 1896
Page last updated: 22nd January 2014