Derby Railway Station

Derby railway station is now the only main line railway station in the city of Derby, and one which I have visited many times on the way to and from my travels for this blog.

Derby’s central location in England made it an ideal place for the Midland Railway to build their headquarters, turning what was once a small town into one of Britain’s railway towns. Others included Crewe, Wolverhampton and Swindon, previously small towns and villages which grew massively as the “Railway Mania” of the early Victorian era took hold.

Derby Railway Station in December 2022

The station first opened in 1839, and was at one time one of the largest railway stations in the country. It has undergone several renovations and rebuilds over the years, most recently in 2018. It did have a spectacular Victorian frontage, which British Rail decided to demolish and replace with what you see above in the mid-1980s.

Painting of Derby Midland Station by Charles Trubshaw. Valentines Series – Postcard c.1910, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19164006

The station sign proclaims the name “Derby Midland Station”, although it hasn’t been called that since 1968. This was to differentiate it from Derby Friargate Station elsewhere in the city, which closed in 1964. Some of that station’s infrastructure survives today, at Handyside Bridge over Friargate and the imposing derelict Grade II listed warehouse which has fallen victim to vandalism and several fires over the years.

Derby station looks very modern at platform level, with some of the old features retained on platform 1, including the war memorial dedicated to those men who worked for the Midland Railway who died in the First and Second World Wars. The original clock was moved to a new location in the mid-1980s.

Derby station at platform level

Next to the railway station was the Midland Railway’s Derby Railway Works. This was where locomotives and wagons were built and maintained from 1840 until its closure in 1990. Most of the site was demolished and later became part of the Pride Park development. The Roundhouse was saved from demolition and sold to Derby College, who renovated it and turned it into a college campus, which opened in 2009.

The best picture I have of the Roundhouse, unfortunately.

A new entrance to Derby station was built at the Pride Park end in the 2000s.

Pride Park entrance to Derby station, with a giant mural of “Miles”, the East Midlands Railway mascot.

Derby is a fully staffed station, with cafes and shops, toilets on every platform and a ticket office. Ticket barriers were installed in 2009 to increase security. However, locals complained that a public right of way through the station had been compromised, and so the council now has a pass scheme to allow residents to apply for a pass to enable them to walk through the station, on the proviso that they walk straight through and don’t try to board a train at the station.

The most recent renovation in 2018 saw a change to the platform layout, with a bay platform being removed and all platforms straightened out to improve running speeds through the station. There are seven platforms at Derby station, although platform 7 is a service platform and is not regularly used.

East Midlands Railway runs the station, having taken over from East Midlands Trains in August 2019. In addition to their trains, CrossCountry’s services also use the station, as does Northern Trains for a couple of services per day.

The end of platforms 2/3

East Midlands Railway’s headquarters is also located close to the station, as is their Derby depot where their rolling stock is cleaned and maintained.

EMR’s Derby headquarters. It’s not on fire, the sun was rising in the sky.

That’s it for this post. Coming up next week is the first part of the review of 2022 on this blog, looking back at 12 months of travel. That ‘drops’ on Sunday 11th, as the young folks say.

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