Opening of the Midland Railway Station
Towards the end of the year 1857 the Directors of the Midland Railway decided to open a station in Bedford, and a fierce controversy raged between the north and south sides of the river as to the selection of a site. Various meetings were held and on December 16 the Midland Railway Directors met the Town Council. It was suggested that the proposed station should be on the north side of the river and that the cost of the approaches be defrayed by subscription so as not to come upon the rates. The controversy lasted some time and the advantages of St. Mary's for the purposes of a station were brought before the public. In January of 1859 the new station was opened, it having been built on the Freemen's Common, its present position.
On the day of the opening a large number of passengers were booked through to London. The new building was much admired and considered very satisfactory.