Were You Aware Of London's BedPan Train Line?

By M@ Last edited 28 months ago

Last Updated 14 January 2022

Were You Aware Of London's BedPan Train Line?
Image by XSklzxDark under creative commons licence

London has not one but TWO train lines whose names literally take the piss.

Yes, we've all heard of the Bakerloo, which got its toilet-conjuring name as a portmanteau of Baker Street and Waterloo.

But did you know about the BedPan line?

It's more commonly known as the Thameslink — the route that runs north-south through central London, crossing Blackfriars rail bridge. But the fact that it serves major stations at both Bedford and St Pancras has long suggested the more evocative BedPan line, particularly for the section to the north.

Although never used officially, the shorthand has long been in colloquial use among train aficionados. After 1982, when the route between Bedford and St Pancras was electrified, the term gained traction (pun deliberate) in the national press.

Sometimes, a bedpan would come in handy on these services... (image by author)

It's still used occasionally today, and we've even seen it on heritage plaques along the route. But the term BedPan line deserves to be better known. So if you're planning a day trip to St Albans, a flight from Luton Airport (or another day trip), or you've got tickets to see Strictly in Elstree & Borehamwood, be sure to tell people you're getting there on the BedPan line.