Day one… Staying local – part 1

I decided to make a start with the first couple of stations (alphabetically) in my home county of Derbyshire, Alfreton and Ambergate, making use of an excellent value Derbyshire Wayfarer ticket.

The 09:17 Northern service from Nottingham to Leeds took me the 6 miles and 19 chains1 from Langley Mill to Alfreton with 195017 doing the honours.

Platform 1, AlfretonPlatform 1, Alfreton

The present Alfreton station opened on 7 May 1973 as Alfreton and Mansfield Parkway and was renamed in 1995 when Mansfield regained its own station on the Robin Hood line from Nottingham to Worksop.

Alfreton station building-20221003Alfreton station building
3 October 2022

The plain station building is enlivened slightly by a splash of East Midlands Railway purple and it was the 06.51 East Midlands Railway service from Norwich to Liverpool Lime Street that took me the 10 miles and 13 chains to Chesterfield.

Chesterfield station is home to a fantastic statue of the “Father of Railways” George Stephenson, who lived (and died) at nearby Tapton House.

George Stephenson statue, ChesterfieldGeorge Stephenson 1781-1848
by Stephen Hicklin

A quick change of train, onto the 10.36 East Midlands Railway (EMR) service from Sheffield to London St Pancras International saw 222001 THE ENTREPRENEUR EXPRESS deposit me at Derby at 11.08.

Home of University of Derby

Derby station was opened by the North Midland Railway on 11 May 1840 and has been rebuilt a number of times since but thankfully the Victorian station clock survives at the far end of the north car park.

Derby station clockDerby’s Victorian station clock

Back inside the station, ‘Express Sprinter’ 158783 was waiting with the 11.34 EMR service to Matlock and I hopped aboard for the 16 minute, 10 miles and 79 chains journey to Ambergate.


Where it was time for a short break.

To be continued…

[1] The vast majority of railway lines in the UK use miles and chains to measure distances; there are 22 yards to a chain and 80 chains to a mile.

An odyssey…

a long and eventful or adventurous journey or experience

The Office of Rail and Road’s rail statistics compendium (last published 2 December 2021) shows there to be 2,569 railway stations in the United Kingdom, this blog will hopefully chronicle my attempt to visit every single one of them.

I know this has been done before, by Vicki Pipe and Geoff Marshall, whose blog All The Stations is well worth a look but my attempt will differ from theirs in one very significant way.

Two of Vicki and Geoff’s self-imposed rules were:

  1. At each station we had to either arrive or leave on a scheduled train that was timetabled to stop. Fast trains that passed through did not count.
  2. We did not have to leave the train at every station, but we did get off at some of the most interesting stations to capture footage of the surrounding areas.

My only self-imposed rule is this:

  1. As far as is possible, I not only have to leave the train at every station, I have to depart by a different train.

So assuming I manage to visit 100 stations per year that’s 26 years of train travel!