A new platform on the Up Fast line at Bedford is the main proposal is the Bedford Area Strategic Advice document produced by Network Rail and published in July.
Bedford station currently has five platforms: bay platform 1A is used by the Marston Vale services, while platform 4 is on the Down Fast line and used by northbound East Midlands Railway services, mostly to Corby. Platforms 1 to 3 are used by both terminating Thameslink services from London and beyond and by southbound EMR services. However, the lack of a London-bound platform on the Up Fast line means these EMR services must cross to the slow lines at Bedford North Junction to call there, before crossing back to the fast lines at Bedford South Junction.
The study says this move introduces inefficiencies and impacts freight services on the slow lines. It says this impact would be exacerbated if additional stops were to be introduced at Bedford, something the study envisages as being desirable for Midland main line services once HS2 opens and provides faster journeys between London and destinations in the East Midlands.