Wrexham Central railway station

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Wrexham Central National Rail
Welsh: Wrecsam Canolog
Wrexham Central
Location
Place Wrexham
Local authority Wrexham
Grid reference SJ333502
Operations
Station code WXC
Managed by Arriva Trains Wales
Number of platforms 1
DfT category F1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05 17,459
2005/06 Decrease 16,211
2006/07 Increase 20,456
2007/08 Decrease 19,736
2008/09 Decrease 19,680
2009/10 Increase 23,338
2010/11 Increase 31,952
2011/12 Increase 33,098
2012/13 Increase 41,746
2013/14 Increase 53,142
History
Key dates Opened 1998 (1998)
Original company Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay Railway
Pre-grouping Great Central Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
1 November 1887 Original station opened
2 November 1895 Route to Ellesmere opened
10 September 1962 Route to Ellesmere closed
1998 Station resited
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Wrexham Central from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Wrexham Central railway station is the smaller of two main railway stations serving the central area of Wrexham in Wales. The platform can accommodate a three car diesel train, but has room for platform extension. It is the southern terminus of the Borderlands Line, also known as the Wrexham-Bidston line, which links north-east Wales to Merseyside.

The current station was constructed in 1998 inside a large shopping centre in Wrexham town centre known as Island Green. It replaced the first Central station, opened on 1 November 1887, which was a large station located 250 metres (270 yards) to the east. This station closed on 23 November 1998 and has been replaced by another large shopping centre.

History[edit]

The original station[edit]

View SE towards Station in 1959
Wrexham Central railway station in 1977

The Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay Railway (WMCQ) had opened between Wrexham Exchange and Buckley (old station) on 1 May 1866.[1] A southern extension to a station better situated for the centre of Wrexham was authorised on 18 August 1882;[2] work did not begin until January 1887, and it was opened on 1 November the same year.[3] Wrexham Central was a large station, with a marshalling yard and goods depot accompanying it. The station clock was provided and maintained free of charge by a local watchmaker named Pierce.[3] It was a terminus for several years until the Wrexham and Ellesmere Railway (W&ER) was opened on 2 November 1895.[3] The W&ER was built with financial assistance of the WMCQ and the Cambrian Railways, and operated by the latter, which it joined at Ellesmere.

The line of the former W&ER was a victim of the Beeching cuts, closing on 10 September 1962,[4] and Wrexham Central almost met a similar fate. As Wrexham was undergoing population growth at the time, it was decided to retain it due to being conveniently close to the town centre. It was reduced to a single track station with a small concrete shelter and an adjacent stabling siding. The goods depot and marshalling yard were reduced to a large car park and railway club.

The present station[edit]

In 1998, a large shopping centre was to be built on the entire area, and the station was pushed back by 250 metres (270 yards). The local rail users group tried to prevent this, but failed. They did however get a large station building constructed compared to the prefabricated open concrete shelter it replaced. The line today sees Class 150 Sprinters with Class 153 Sprinters occasionally substituting. The line used to see Pacer 142 units, but these were stopped due to their ride quality on jointed track. One of the conditions the Rail Users group gave on the relocation was that if needed, space be left for future doubling of the track and a second platform, which was complied with.[citation needed]

There are possibilities that Wrexham Central may become electrified, as part of electrification of the entire Borderlands line. Network Rail mentioned this as a possible future development for the route in its 2007 Business Plan for the area,[5] but further progress is dependent on a favourable business case being put forward and funding secured.[6][7]

The station is unstaffed, however a self-service ticket machine is available on the platform, alongside a public payphone and self-help point in the waiting room. A PA system is installed, but is currently not in use. The station adjoins a pay-and-display car park within the Island Green shopping centre, however three free spaces are provided for railway passengers.

At privatisation, the station became managed by North Western Trains, later known as First North Western. A review in 2003 led to the station being briefly operated by Wales & Borders, before finally Arriva Trains Wales from late 2003 to present.

Services[edit]

An Arriva Trains Wales Class 150 waits at the station, before returning to Bidston.

The station has an hourly service to Shotton and Bidston on Monday to Saturday daytimes, dropping to two-hourly in the evenings. Connections for Birkenhead and Liverpool are available at Bidston.

There is a limited service (five trains in total) on Sundays.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dow, George (1965). Great Central, Volume Three: Fay Sets the Pace, 1900-1922. Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 49. ISBN 0 7110 0263 0. 
  2. ^ Dow 1965, p. 62
  3. ^ a b c Dow 1965, p. 65
  4. ^ Kidner, R.W. (1992) [1954]. The Cambrian Railways. The Oakwood Library of Railway History (2nd ed.). Headington: Oakwood Press. p. 178. ISBN 0 85361 439 3. OL55. 
  5. ^ Network Rail Business Plan 2007 Accessed 2008-08-15
  6. ^ Borderland Line Electrification plans Accessed 2008-08-15
  7. ^ Written Answer by Transport Minister Tom Harris regarding possible future plans for route, March 2007 Accessed 2008-08-15

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Wrexham General   Arriva Trains Wales
Borderlands Line
  Terminus
Disused railways
Terminus   Cambrian Railways
Wrexham and Ellesmere Railway
  Marchwiel
Line and station closed

Coordinates: 53°02′46″N 2°59′58″W / 53.0462°N 2.9994°W / 53.0462; -2.9994