Duddeston Station

· life ·

One of the highlights of my new daily commute is passing through Duddeston Station. The station was once an important terminus, but now only two platforms are in use, and the sheds are bricked up. The wonderful part for me is that they haven't dismantled any of the other platforms, rails or gantries, but just allowed nature to creep back in. I'm sure that this is probably a lack of money and/or laziness on the part of the authorities, rather than any act of charity towards the wildlife, but the end result is what matters.

At this time of year, the unused platforms are a riot of buddleia, goldenrod, silver birch and willow. The flowers and trees crowd the platform, as if waiting for ghost trains that never arrive, clouds of white and yellow butterflies billowing above them like locomotive smoke. I love the green anarchy of it, and the sense that the plants are reclaiming the land. If the train stopped for longer at the station, I'm sure I would see rabbits, foxes and birds foraging around on the platforms and rails, and around the old sidings. On particularly trying journeys, I fantasise that the plants will spread along the tracks, forming a green and scented tunnel, through which the sunlight would flicker and dapple the interior of the carriages. At stations, you would have to push your way through the vegetation to get off the train, and you would emerge covered in petals and golden pollen, with butterflies tangled in your hair.