Milton Keynes Central railway station

Milton Keynes Central railway station serves Central Milton Keynes and the surrounding area of Milton Keynes, England. The station is located on the West Coast Main Line about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of London. The station is served by Virgin Trains intercity services, and by West Midlands Trains and Southern regional services.

This station is one of the six[a] stations serving the Milton Keynes urban area. 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.

Milton Keynes Central National Rail
Station Square, showing the frontage to Milton Keynes Central. Bus stops are in the foreground, with local and long distance buses visible.
PlaceCentral Milton Keynes
Local authorityBorough of Milton Keynes
Coordinates52°02′06″N 0°46′23″W / 52.035°N 0.773°WCoordinates: 52°02′06″N 0°46′23″W / 52.035°N 0.773°W
Grid referenceSP841380
Station codeMKC
Managed byLondon Northwestern Railway
Owned byNetwork Rail
Number of platforms7 (numbered 1–2, 2A, 3–6)
DfT categoryB
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 6.286 million
2014/15Increase 6.649 million
2015/16Increase 6.836 million
2016/17Increase 6.851 million
2017/18Decrease 6.824 million
Original companyBritish Rail
17 May 1982Opened
29 December 2008Platforms 2A and 6 added
National Rail – UK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Milton Keynes Central from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

History and development

Milton Keynes Central railway station
The station lobby, with the huge National Rail logo above the entrance

A new station for Milton Keynes

A new station to delimit the western end of the new central business district of Milton Keynes was a key objective for Milton Keynes Development Corporation (MKDC).[2] In the cash-strapped circumstances of the mid 1970s, British Rail (BR) was unenthusiastic but eventually came round after a deal was done in 1978 on cost sharing.[2] In 1979, MKDC architect Stuart Mosscrop designed the station building and office blocks to either side,[2] framing a new Station Square and the vista uphill along Midsummer Boulevard (and the midsummer sunrise).[3]


BR brought the station into operation on 14 May 1982 in an official ceremony with full public opening by Charles, Prince of Wales three days later.[4][2] The adjacent office wings were completed three years later.[2] 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 developments

In May 2006, the Department of Transport announced a plan to upgrade the station.[5] 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 West Coast Main Line (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 January 2019, a direct service between Bedford and Milton Keynes is not in any published plan, being overtaken by later events (see next).

Platforms and layout

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 mainly by terminating services from London Euston or East Croydon, whilst platforms 1 and 3 are used by West Midlands Trains services between Euston and Northampton, Birmingham New Street or Crewe. Platforms 4, 5 and 6 are used for Virgin inter-city express services between London and the West Midlands, north Wales, the north-west or Scotland.

Platform 2A is a five-car south-facing bay platform originally intended for the extension of Marston Vale Line services from Bedford into Milton Keynes Central: this proposal no longer appears in plans for East West Rail, being replaced by a planned service to/from Oxford or Aylesbury (see below). Meanwhile, platform 2A is used only by exception when additional platform capacity is needed, such as when there is a service delay. To the north of the station the six lines reduce to four (two slow and two fast) and there is a mile of five-track running to the south before this also reduces back to four.

The station is generally accessible: there are no unavoidable steps and there are lifts from the concourse to each platform. As with all mainline railway stations, passengers with mobility limitations may need to pre-book assistance to get from the platform to the train.[6] Ticket gates are in operation.

Local facilities and interchange

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 Shires & Essex as well as some routes by Stagecoach East 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 East operate four major long-distance coach routes from here. Their route 99 express service runs to Luton Airport via Luton railway station, providing a direct link between the West Coast Main Line and the Midland Main Line.[7] Route X5 route between Oxford and Cambridge stops here, as do their X4 and X7 interurban bus routes to Northampton, Leicester and Peterborough. Arriva Shires & Essex also operate route X60 to Aylesbury, which terminates at the station.[8] However, National Express services run from the Milton Keynes Coachway, about 4.5 miles (7.2 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 use 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-storey 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 station.[9][10]


West Midlands Trains (London Northwestern)

Milton Keynes Central is a principal start and terminus for West Midlands Trains' 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, West Midlands Trains 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 West Midlands Trains services during the rush hour.[11] On this route, the Company trades as "London Northwestern".

Virgin Trains

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 destinations.[11]


Southern's West London Route provides an hourly service via the West London Line and Brighton Main Line to East Croydon (via Clapham Junction), avoiding central London. Onward connections to Gatwick Airport and Brighton are available from Clapham Junction.

Future services

East West Rail

From 2025, services are planned to operate (over a rebuilt East West Rail line) to Oxford via Bletchley, calling at Winslow and Bicester Village.[12][13] This work will reopen Claydon Junction and thus the route to London Marylebone via Aylesbury and High Wycombe. A desire to extend services to Cambridge and beyond remains unfulfilled because it depends on a new alignment eastwards from Bedford to Cambridge: as of June 2019, this work is funded only 'to develop a strategic outline business case'.[14].

Grand Central

In June 2018, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) approved an application by Great North Western Railway for 5 direct services per day from Blackpool North to London Euston calling at: Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham & Wesham, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes Central. The service is planned for September 2019.[15][16] However, in June 2019, the Group announced that the service would begin in Spring 2020 and would be operated by sister company, Grand Central. [17] On the same day the company revealed its timetable for its new Blackpool North to London Euston. [18]

Service summary

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Wolverton or
  London Northwestern Railway
WCML London Commuter Services
  Bletchley or
Leighton Buzzard
Rugby   London Northwestern Railway
WCML Crewe to London
  London Euston
Wolverton   London Northwestern Railway
WCML Birmingham to London
  Bletchley or
Watford Junction
Coventry   Virgin Trains
WCML Glasgow/Edinburgh - London
  London Euston
Crewe   Virgin Trains
WCML Wales to London
  London Euston
Stoke-on-Trent   Virgin Trains
WCML Manchester Branch
  London Euston
Terminus   Southern
WLR Milton Keynes Central to South Croydon
  Future services  
Terminus   East West Rail
Milton Keynes Central — Oxford and Reading
Terminus   East West Rail
Milton Keynes Central — London Marylebone
Nuneaton   Grand Central
WCML Blackpool Branch
  London Euston


Milton Keynes Central railway station is located in Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes Central railway station
Milton Keynes Central zoom in
Mapping © OpenStreetMap

The station is at the western end of Central Milton Keynes, near the junction of the A5 with the A509. The nearest post-code is MK9 1BB.[19] In the chainage notation traditionally used on the railway, its location on the line is 49 miles 65 chains (49.81 mi; 80.17 km) from Euston.[20]

In film

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.



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.

Milton Keynes Central train station from platform 1, spring 2013 (1)

The main building of the station, photographed from platform 1

Loughton Siding geograph-2173482-by-Ben-Brooksbank

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


  1. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 160. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bendixson, Terence; Platt, John (1992). Milton Keynes: Image and reality. Cambridge: Granta Editions. ISBN 0906782724., page 133–136
  3. ^ Barkham, Patrick (3 May 2016). "The struggle for the soul of Milton Keynes". Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Milton Keynes Central Opened". Railway Magazine. Vol. 128 no. 974. June 1982. p. 258. ISSN 0033-8923.
  5. ^ West Coast Main Line: Progress Report – May 2006 Archived 6 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Information for disabled passengers National Rail
  7. ^ "99 Bus Route & Timetable: Luton Airport - Milton Keynes". Stagecoach. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  8. ^
  9. ^ sk8m8 : Sk8MK Skate Plaza – Milton Keynes
  10. ^ "Best practice don't repel the borders". Local Government Chronicle. 19 April 2006. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  11. ^ a b GB National Rail Timetable December 2015 – May 2016, Table 66
  12. ^ "Chancellor accepts East West Rail targets and strengthens plans with extra cash".
  13. ^ Transport Secretary officially launches East West Railway Company at Bletchley Park East West Rail, 22 November 2017
  14. ^ "Rail in the October 2018 UK budget]". Railway Gazette. 30 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Application for a new track access contract for services between London Euston and Blackpool North" (PDF). Office of Rail and Road. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  16. ^ "NEW BLACKPOOL TO LONDON RAIL SERVICES APPROVED". Alliance Rail Holdings. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  17. ^ Grand Central plans new Blackpool to London route from 2020 in major boost for the local economy; 24 June 2019
  18. ^ London to Blackpool; 24 June 2019
  19. ^
  20. ^ Engineer's Line References


  1. ^ The others are Wolverton (north Milton Keynes), Bletchley (south Milton Keynes), Fenny Stratford (also south Milton Keynes), Bow Brickhill (south-east Milton Keynes) and Woburn Sands

External links

A412 road

The A412 is a road in England between Slough and Watford. It was the main artery for this corridor and used to continue to St Albans prior to the construction of the M25. It provides interchange to the A4 in Slough, the A40/M40 at the Denham Roundabout, the M25 in Maple Cross, the A404 in Rickmansworth town centre, the A411 on a partially grade separated dual carriageway in Watford town centre, and the A41 in North Watford.

Aylesbury–Princes Risborough line

The Aylesbury–Princes Risborough line is a rural branch line between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England. The line is single track throughout with a maximum speed of 40 mph.

Badminton England

Badminton England is the national governing body for the sport of badminton in England. It aims to govern, encourage and develop the sport throughout England.

Established as the Badminton Association of England in 1893, the association is based in Milton Keynes and has departments for Elite Play, Events, Membership, Development and Coaching. It closely liaises with the 41 Counties of England to provide support to the club and league structures.

The body was a founding member of the International Badminton Federation, since renamed to Badminton World Federation (BWF), which is the international governing body for the sport.

Buses in Milton Keynes

The buses in Milton Keynes are run by a mixture of operators on a network of urban and rural routes in and around the Milton Keynes urban area. These services have a varied history involving five different companies. At the foundation of the 'New City' in 1967 and for some years afterwards, Milton Keynes was served by a rural bus service between and to the pre-existing towns. Apart from a small-scale experimental service, urban buses arrived on the scene with deregulation in 1986. Since April 2010 the core local services have been provided by Arriva Shires & Essex. Long-distance coach services also serve the city, often via the nearby Milton Keynes Coachway located near junction 14 of the M1 Motorway.

Central Milton Keynes

Central Milton Keynes is the central business district of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England and a civil parish in its own right, designated as a town council.

The district is approximately 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long by 1 km (0.6 mi) wide and occupies some of the highest land in Milton Keynes. It contains (behind the Central Library) the historic site of the moot hill for Secklow (or Sigelai) Hundred. It contains the central retail, business, law enforcement and governmental districts, Milton Keynes Central railway station and around 2,000 residential dwellings.

This area is known locally as "the city centre".

Chiltern Way

The Chiltern Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath in southern England in the United Kingdom. It was created by the Chiltern Society as a millennium project.

Handy Cross roundabout

Handy Cross roundabout is a major road interchange at Handy Cross, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; the junction for High Wycombe, the M40 motorway and the A404 dual-carriageway. It is the terminus of the A4010 which runs to Aylesbury.


MKC may refer to:

Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, serving Kansas City, Missouri (IATA airport code)

Maksi railway station (Indian Railways code)

McCormick & Company (NYSE ticker symbol)

Meserete Kristos Church, an Ethiopian Anabaptist denomination

Milton Keynes Central railway station (UK National Rail station code)

Lincoln MKC, Lincoln automobile

MKC Networks, a Canadian VoIP company

Mortal Kombat: Conquest, a television show based on the video game Mortal Kombat

Chief Machinery Technician, a rating in the US Coast Guard

MK Lions Arena

MK Lions Arena, also known as Prestige Homes Arena due to sponsorship reasons, was a basketball arena in Milton Keynes, England. It was the home venue for the Milton Keynes Lions of the British Basketball League from 2010 to 2012.

The venue - a former warehouse - was acquired by the Lions franchise in 2010, after being forced out of their previous homes at the Bletchley Centre - due to a regeneration project - and the temporary set-up at Middleton Hall, in the thecentre:mk. With the team still awaiting the completion of arena:mk - a purpose-built muilti-function arena next to the stadium:mk - an immediate solution was sought and the city centre facility was converted into a new basketball centre for the 2010-11 season.

As well as the main arena, which has seating for 1,400 spectators, the venue featured two practice courts under the same roof of the 30,000 square foot facility. The arena, was located in the Winterhill district, a five-minute walk from the city centre and from Milton Keynes Central railway station.Lions' first game at the new venue was played on November 28, 2010, with the home team winning 79-73 against BBL rookies Essex Pirates with the game televised live on SkySports.The lease between Lions and the building owners featured an opt-out cause which was triggered in order to let the building as a retail unit. The final basketball game at the arena was played on April 18, 2012, with Lions defeating Plymouth Raiders 128-113. This proved to be the Lions last ever game in Milton Keynes as the club were forced to re-locate for the 2012-13 season due to being unable to find an alternate venue in the city capable of hosting British Basketball League games.

Magic Roundabout (High Wycombe)

The Magic Roundabout in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, is similar to the roundabouts with the same name in Swindon and other places. It is located on the junction of the A40 and A404. The junction is the second meeting point of the two roads, they interchange at the start of the A404 in Marylebone, London, with the A40 forming the Westway.

The two roads follow different routes to reach Wycombe, the A40 coming via Beaconsfield and the A404 via North London and Amersham. From the roundabout, the A40 continues towards Oxford, Cheltenham, Gloucester and South Wales, whilst the A404 goes south to Marlow and Maidenhead.

Milton Keynes Coachway

The Milton Keynes Coachway (also Milton Keynes coach station) is a Coachway interchange close to junction 14 of the M1 Motorway on the eastern edge of Milton Keynes, north Buckinghamshire, England. It supports National Express intercity coach services to cities, towns and airports on the M1, M6, and on into Scotland, to Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton Airports, as well as Stagecoach in Bedford's route X5 between Oxford and Cambridge, and interchange between these services. There are also local bus services and nearby, a park and ride site. It is the second busiest coach station in the United Kingdom. Dating from 1989, it was the first of the UK's Coachway interchanges.

Milton Keynes bus station

Milton Keynes bus station may refer to one of a number of possible topics:

The former Milton Keynes central bus station, which is no longer in use.

The travel interchange outside Milton Keynes Central railway station, which has taken over the functions of the former bus station.

Milton Keynes Coachway, used by National Express north/south services and Stagecoach east/west services.

Milton Keynes railway station

Milton Keynes railway station could mean any of the five stations in Milton Keynes:

Bletchley railway station

Bow Brickhill railway station

Fenny Stratford railway station

Milton Keynes Central railway station

Wolverton railway stationOf these, Milton Keynes Central is the largest and busiest.

Milton Keynes redway system

The Milton Keynes redway system (locally known as Redways) is an over 200 mi (322 km) network of shared use paths for cyclists and pedestrians in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England. It is generally surfaced with red tarmac, and criss-crosses most of the city.

Some of these Redways run next to the grid roads and local roads, with underpasses or bridges where they intersect major roads. Others run through park land and along the floodplain of the Great Ouse and its tributaries.

Construction of the Redway commenced in the 1970s with the start of the construction of the "new city". By 1980 it was the largest urban cycleway system in the UK with 22 miles (35.4 km) in use.

National Cycle Route 51

National Cycle Route 51 is an English long distance cycle route running broadly east-west connecting Colchester and the port of Harwich to Oxford via Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Bicester, and Kidlington.

Links to:

National Cycle Route 1 at Colchester and Ipswich

National Cycle Route 6 at Milton Keynes

RCR 41 at Felixstowe

NCR 11 at Cambridge

National Cycle Route 50 near Verney JunctionForms part of the North Sea Cycle Route.

National Cycle Route 6

National Cycle Route 6 (or NCR 6) is a route of the National Cycle Network, running from London to the Lake District.


OneMK (formerly MK News) was a local weekly free newspaper and online news service, based in Milton Keynes.

MK News launched in August 2002 and was delivered to homes across the Milton Keynes urban area and to commuters at Milton Keynes Central railway station.

It re-branded itself to OneMK in early 2016 before its owners, Trinity Mirror, closed the paper in October 2016.The paper was delivered on Wednesdays (competing with the Milton Keynes Citizen, which is distributed free on Thursdays). The newspaper claimed an audited adult readership of 130,000.

Shakespeare's Way

Shakespeare's Way is a waymarked long-distance footpath in southern England, United Kingdom.

Stations in and around Milton Keynes
Salcey Forest
towards Bedford
Old Stratford
Stony Stratford
Newport Pagnell
Wolverton Works
Great Linford
Woburn Sands
Bow Brickhill
Milton Keynes Central
Fenny Stratford
Denbigh Hall
Bletchley TMD
former Varsity Line /
planned East West Rail
Leighton Buzzard
Railway stations in Buckinghamshire
West Coast Main Line
Chiltern Main Line
Great Western main line
London–Aylesbury line
Marlow branch line
Aylesbury–Princes Risborough line
Marston Vale line
Metropolitan line
Heritage railway
Transport in Milton Keynes
Other transport


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.