It’s not very often I travel by train first thing in the morning, mainly because it’s a) really busy and b) really expensive. It isn’t either of those things on a weekend, though. So I was up with the lark this morning, Saturday 28th September 2019, to catch the 6:51 service from Burton on Trent to Spondon in Derby.
It was still quite dark as I made the short walk from my home to Burton on Trent station. The ongoing improvement works outside the station were due to be finished this weekend, but it doesn’t look likely that they will be. I walked down the stairs at the station on to the platform. It was a chilly kind of morning at the station, and there were a few people waiting on the platform.
My train was a direct service to Spondon, one of the few services to call at the station. On a Saturday, there are a few trains calling there before 9 o’clock in the morning, and then nothing at all until mid-afternoon. The train called at Derby, and then five minutes later, at about quarter past seven, it arrived in Spondon.
No-one else got off the train there apart from me. I had a look on Google Maps for possible places to go on an early Saturday morning in Spondon, and I found there was a path running near to the railway line which leads to the nearby village of Borrowash.
The path begins just yards from the station, so I joined it and started walking eastwards towards Borrowash. There was nobody around, although I did see a fire which someone had lit, so there may have been some people around. I didn’t stop to look, just in case they weren’t nice people. I also passed through a new housing estate being built, with a big fence and accompanying signs warning of the dangers of trespassing.
As is the tradition on these trips, though, I ended up taking a wrong turning and found myself back on the main road towards Spondon, instead of heading to Borrowash. To be fair, it wasn’t clear where the path diverged. I walked back towards Spondon on a road which had a mixture of residential and industrial buildings. About twenty minutes later, I was back at Spondon station. It was deserted, and I had just under an hour to spare, so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures.
Spondon railway station was first opened in 1839 on the Derby – Nottingham line. It was enlarged in the early 20th century to serve the nearby former British Celanese manufacturing plant, which was opened in 1916 and mostly closed in the 1990s. It has two platforms and is unstaffed. The old station buildings are still in existence, but privately-owned. A local group called Friends of Spondon Station have adopted the station, and they have created a small garden on platform 2. Other facilities include a bike rack, a help point and waiting shelters on both platforms. A footbridge connects the platforms, and there is also a level crossing on the road which leads to the industrial area nearby.
I waited in the shelter on the platform for about 45 minutes. My train home was due at 8:57, but there was an earlier East Midlands Railway train to Derby at 8:44, so I caught that one. If my train at 8:57 had been cancelled or broke down, I would have been stuck in Spondon until the next train in the early afternoon, so I caught the earlier one and changed at Derby, just as a precaution. I used e-tickets on the EMR phone app again, like I did when I went to Cromford last week, and there were no problems with it, although I did also print them off just in case there were.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to explore more of Spondon, but I may have a trip over there again one day. It seems like a nice place to visit. That was station 25 of 76 in the East Midlands Ranger Area, so I’m a third of the way through.
Thanks very much for reading, and I will hopefully be back soon with more travel tales.