As part of my own personal challenge to visit all 76 railway stations in the East Midlands Ranger Area, I decided to knock out another three stations on Saturday 27th April 2019. My itinerary was to take me from my home station of Burton on Trent to the village of Sileby, Leicestershire. The outbound journey meant I had to change trains at Derby, then travel to Loughborough and change there for Sileby. On the return journey, I had to change at Beeston and got a train from there straight back to Burton. There wasn’t a lot of time to spend in the places where I got off, so it was just a whistle-stop three hour journey on trains.
The journey began very early in the morning, at around 6:55am. I figured that it wouldn’t be so busy then on a Saturday morning, and there was hardly anyone waiting for the train at Burton. It soon arrived in the pouring rain, and I got on board and found my seat. Ten minutes later, I was at Derby station, and it was still raining. I had about 25 minutes to make my connection, so I just found the platform I needed and sat down. The train service began at Derby, so it was at the platform when I got to it. After a few minutes, it sprang into life and the doors were activated, so I got on and just waited for it to depart. There were hardly any other passengers on board at that time. A young couple came on, and the woman was a bit concerned that they had boarded the wrong train. I reassured them that it was the one they wanted when they asked me.
The train was bound for London St Pancras, but I got off at Loughborough, just a few stops later. The journey didn’t take long, less than half an hour. It was also raining in Loughborough. I didn’t have long to wait for my next train at Loughborough, but I got a couple of photos while I waited.
At Loughborough, I boarded my next train to Sileby. I’m not a train spotter, not that there’s anything wrong with that hobby, so I can’t tell you what kind of train it was, or the number. It was just a train, formed of two coaches and it looked like it had seen better days, to be honest. It was functional, and that’s all that mattered.
Less than ten minutes, and two stops later, I was in the village of Sileby. I took a couple of pictures of the station while I was there.
Sileby railway station is very small, and there aren’t a lot of facilities. There is no dot matrix sign on the platforms, and no platform numbers on the actual platform. More on that later. The original station at Sileby was built in 1840 and closed in 1968. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1994 as part of the Ivanhoe Line project.
I had half an hour to kill before I got the train back, so I just went for a short walk around the quiet streets and back to the station. I checked on the National Rail app on my phone which platform I needed to be on to get the train back. It said platform 1, and the sign at road level clearly said platform 1 was the one that I had got off at. However, other passengers were on the other platform, so I went over there along with a couple of other people who had also been confused by it. The tannoy announced that the next train due at plaform 1 was the train that I wanted, but I was on platform 2 according to the signage, and it stopped at “platform 2”. Confused? So was I. It all worked out in the end, though, and I was soon on my way to Beeston to catch my last train of the morning.
Beeston station was the third and final new station on my list to tick off, although I had passed through it before on the way to Nottingham. It is a very pretty station, but could do with a lick of paint, to be honest. Beeston station was originally opened in 1839 and was threatened with closure and demolition in the mid-1980s, but locals campaigned for it to become a listed building and it remained open. The train was busy when I boarded, but I had reserved a seat, and so I sat down and let the train take the strain and take me back home to Burton on Trent.
On my list of 76 stations, I have now visited 13 and have 63 left to visit. I have a couple of trips from earlier this year to write up for this blog, and I will also keep you posted on future trips. Thanks for reading.