Home UK News I went to all 2,542 UK train stations in 41 days – here’s my favourite | UK | News

I went to all 2,542 UK train stations in 41 days – here’s my favourite | UK | News

I went to all 2,542 UK train stations in 41 days – here’s my favourite | UK | News

A huge train fan visited almost every train station in the UK in just 41 days – and has picked his favourite.

David Jones spent a whopping 441 hours traipsing to more than 2,500 stations in “the UK’s longest commute” to raise money for charity.

After completing his grand tour on March 31 at Inverness Station in Scotland, the 34-year-old said: “I feel a sense of achievement for what I have done. I feel overwhelmed by the support going into the final days. Smashing the money target is just fantastic.”

David set out on the mammoth challenge on February 19 and averaged around 62.5 stations a day. He planned to travel by train to every station and snapped a picture of its sign as he went.

From sleeper trains to small coastal stations, he spent five months strategically planning his route through the UK. After spending 10.5 hours a day sitting on trains, David would recharge at hotels or occasionally sleep through the night on sleeper trains.

As well as the stations of suburbia and Britain’s 86 counties, David’s trip took him to the Isle of Wight and the Island Line’s eight stations. In total, he visited 2,542 of the 2,580 stations in the UK after flooded stations prevented him from visiting some stops along the way.

He said: “I’ve always loved the railways. The practicality of having a train set to play with as a kid and then realising there’s a real world of them out there. It took me about five months to plan.

“I had a look at the map and thought about where I could go from Three Bridges and then slowly started working my way around Britain. I went west first and tried to work a plan as best as I could to not over stress myself.”

David set off from the Three Bridges station, home to the Sussex Rail Operating Centre where he works as a control room train services manager for Govia Thameslink Railway.

And he was able to cut the cost of his travel thanks to his background in the rail industry. He did the challenge to raise cash for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Children’s Intensive Care Unit at Oslo’s University Hospital, where a friend was treated.

David, from Blyth, Northumberland, raised £2,460 which will be divided between the charities. He added: “It was probably about September last year I decided to do it.

“My friend had fallen ill in Norway and they decided to do a 1000-mile bike ride from Bedfordshire to Oslo but I didn’t face riding the bike so being a train geek I decided to do this. She was hit by a football and it ruptured her spine – a complete freak accident.”

Under David’s set rules, trains had to stop at every single station, not just pass through them.

He added: “The one thing I’ve been grateful of is that I was able to contact a lot of the train operating companies and it allowed me to cut down the travel costs quite a bit. The only bit I had to shell out on was accommodation which wasn’t too bad.

“Officially, the average for ticking off stations was 62.5 a day. Some days it was more – in Birmingham for example you could knock out 100 quite easily.

“The middle of Wales, however, might be only 35 stations done in day because of the distance. I did two sleeper trains from London to Glasgow and back so there were a few nights where I could utilise those to sleep on the train. My favourite station would have to be St Ives in Cornwall – the views were fantastic.”

David admitted it was often difficult making sure he was on time for each train but the adventure made it a “once in a lifetime” trip. He had to miss three stations because of some landslides in Workington, Cumbria.

He added: “It was just about getting out and seeing places I’ve not seen before – to highlight that you can go by rail and visit fantastic places. Doing this once-in-a-lifetime kind of a trip, it means if there’s places I want to see in the future I’ve got a little black book that I can refer to.

“The hardest bit was the commuter times and making sure I didn’t miss trains that I needed. It was tough on my own. There are times when I could have done with a chinwag. Some people were curious about the GoPro and asked me about what I was doing and I had some nice conversations about it which was great.”

Click here to donate to Dave’s fundraiser.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here