Are the following sentences correct?

(1) It is about thirty minutes from here to the station.
(2) It takes about thirty minutes from here to the station.

I think 1 is correct but am not sure of 2. 2 is ambiguous and so tough for me.
(1) It is about thirty minutes from here to the station. OK, but informal.
(2) It takes about thirty minutes to get (or drive) from here to the station.
#1 is idiomatic in informal usage, although technically incorrect, in the sense that "It's 30 miles to the station" would be technically correct.

#2 is heard in very casual conversation, but pushes the limit of technical correctness even more than does #1. (I guess you know that.) What is "it"? I wouldn't exactly call it ambiguous. Everyone understands what it means. It just doesn't quite work right.

"The trip from here to the station takes about thirty minutes."
I'm sure there are other opinions on this.
To me, #1 is closer than #2 to "It's really nice out today," because it doesn't use "takes." That is, "it" can act like the dummy, as long as we don't mention a specific action.
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How wonderful!


I agree with this.

I would just add that in normal, everyday British English, version #1 would seem more natural in both speech and natural.

I generally walk to the town because it's only a five minute walk. - acceptable
It's five minutes walk to town from here. - acceptable
It's five minutes' walk to town from here. - rarely seen, and I wouldn't use the apostrophe.

It's five minutes to town from here. - acceptable.

There are many uses of it's in daily speech.

It's the latest fashion.
It's raining.
It's called an inkhorn and its very old. People used to use quill pens with them.
I know it's a nuisance, but can you lend me ten pounds?

From Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll:

"... found it advisable --"

"Found WHAT?" said the Duck.

"Found IT," the Mouse replied rather crossly: "of course you know what 'it' means."

"I know what 'it' means well enough, when I find a thing," said the Duck:
"it's generally a frog or a worm."
Oh, thanks, Patrick!


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On the third example you gave, ie five minutes' walk from the station, I have a couple of questions:

1. you say that you wouldn't use the apostrophe. Is that because it is gramatically incorrect to do so, or just preferable not to?

2. in this particular example, should there be a hyphen in five minutes?

I suppose what I am asking is, would it be gramattically correct if written:

"...five-minutes' walk to town"