2020 Travels – Peartree

On a cold but sunny Saturday morning, I decided to tick off station 39 on the East Midlands Ranger Area list, the tricky station that is Peartree, in Derby. Peartree gets a very limited service. It gets three trains per day from Derby, and two towards Derby on weekdays. On a Saturday, it gets two trains both ways (towards Derby, and towards Crewe). There is no Sunday service.

As usual, my journey began at Burton on Trent, as I caught the 6:57am train to Derby. The plan was to catch the train to Derby, then get the train to Peartree, then walk from Peartree back to Derby, and get the train back to Burton. When I originally planned this trip before the you-know-what virus, I had an elaborate plan that involved buses, a lot of walking and trains. Luckily, in the intervening time, I managed to figure out a much simpler way to get there.

I had a half-hour wait at Derby for my train to Peartree. The train soon arrived, an East Midlands Railways regional service bound for Crewe. Despite Peartree being located on the line from Burton to Derby, no direct trains from Burton stop there. The train soon slowed down and stopped at Peartree, and I was the only passenger to leave the train, which arrived at Peartree just four minutes after I boarded.

Peartree station first opened as Peartree and Normanton station in August 1839 on the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway. Originally, there was a footbridge traversing the two platforms, and a small wooden ticket office on platform 1, along with wooden waiting shelters. It was closed in 1968 due to low passenger usage, but re-opened under its current name in 1976 when the branch line towards Melbourne (in Derbyshire, not Australia) was partially reopened to serve the Rolls Royce plant in Sinfin. This service ran until 1993, when Sinfin North station was closed. That line and the stations in Sinfin remain in situ, but there are no plans to reopen it.

Peartree station fell into disrepair in the mid-2000s, but a refurbishment in 2009 saw new lighting and waiting shelters installed. Access to the platforms is via an intercom controlled gate, installed to prevent people gaining access to the station and causing trouble.

The Pear Tree area (note that the spelling of the station is “Peartree”, even though the area is actually called “Pear Tree”) is home to a large leisure and retail park, with a cinema, bingo hall and supermarkets. I once went to the cinema there in around 2000 to see “Hollow Man”. It remains the worst film I have ever seen at the cinema. Honestly, don’t bother with it if you’ve never seen it.

In 2019, the local newspaper reported that more services could call at Peartree from December 2020, with a direct link from the station to Nottingham. At the time of writing this, though, there is no news on whether this will happen.

As I left Peartree station, I walked through Derby and up to Derby station to get my train home. On the way there, I passed through the site of Derby County FC’s former Baseball Ground, which is now mostly housing, with a small park and a metal statue commemorating the old ground, which they left in 1997 to move to Pride Park. It was only about a twenty-five minute walk from Peartree to Derby station, and it was relatively quiet, seeing as it was early on a Saturday morning. I caught my train back to Burton, and then went home.

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