The station was opened for goods (1 November 1879)  & passengers (2 February 1880)  by the Midland Railway. The station was designed by the Midland Railway company architect John Holloway Sanders.
It was on its cut-off line from Melton Mowbray to Nottingham, which had opened the previous year to allow the railway company's expresses between London and the North to avoid reversal at Nottingham. It also improved access to and from the iron-ore fields in Leicestershire and Rutland. Local traffic was minimal and Plumtree closed to passengers as early as 1949.
According to the Official Handbook of Stations the following classes of traffic were handled by this station in 1956: G, P†, F, L, H, C and there was a 1-ton 10 cwt crane.
In 1910, nine trains each way stopped at Plumtree Station. The earliest train to Nottingham was 7.02, and to Melton Mowbray 6.55. A passenger catching this latter service could expect to be in London St Pancras by 10.55 a.m. Sunday services were virtually non-existent, with only the morning milk train (7.49) to Nottingham (and no way of getting back that day!)