Wrexham and Shropshire Railway
In January 2011, the Wrexham and Shropshire Railway ceased
trading and all train services were withdrawn. The announcement of its
closure was met with dismay from the faithful band of travellers it had
built up during its short lifetime.
What follows is to provide an historical record of what once was.
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Wrexham and Shropshire trains ran five trains Monday to Friday; four trains on Saturday and three on Sunday. Stations between Wrexham and Shrewsbury are shown below. Between Shrewsbury and London Marylebone, stations served are Wellington, Cosford, Wolverhampton, Tame Bridge Parkway and Banbury, but some trains set down or pick up only, so please check with theWrexham and Shropshire Railway Company before travelling.
Stations between Wrexham and Shrewsbury
Stations listed below are those served by Wrexham and Shrewsbury Railway services.
For complete list and gazetteer of other stations on the North Wales route, see Arriva Trains Wales.
The stations are shown in order from Wrexham. Journey times from Wrexham are given, together with journey times from Shrewsbury in brackets.
Wrexham General (Wrexham Central station is ½-mile distant) (43mins)
The town is dominated by the 140-ft pinnacled and decorated tower of St Giles' Church - once considered one of the seven wonders of Wales. In the churchyard is the grave of Elihu Yale who gave his name to the famous Connecticut University. In the Clywedog Valley, south of the town, are reminders of the area's industrial past: A heritage trail through the valley includes the Minera Lead Mines, the Bersham Ironworks and Heritage Centre - where cannon for the American War of Independence were cast - and the wildlife centre at Nant Mill. Two miles south is Erddig Hall, a restored mansion house. Bangor-on-Dee National Hunt racecourse is three miles south east of the town.
7 mins (37mins)
Once the seat of the Williams Wynn family whose influence in this part of North Wales was total from the beginning of the 18th century. Their manor house of Wynnstay has been redesigned several times, most famously in French Renaissance style by Robert Adam with the gardens laid out by Capability Brown, and was last occupied by Lindisfarne College. Ruabon Church contains an effigy of the first Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, and a font also designed by Robert Adam. Near the church is the Round House, formerly the eighteenth-century lock-up, used for prisoners being taken to Shrewsbury jail.
Three miles to the west is Llangollen, home of the Llangollen Railway, a standard gauge railway which operates along the Dee Valley to Carrog.
Every Summer, Llangollen attracts professional and amateur singers and dancers from around the world for the week-long International Eisteddfod. This colourful cultural event takes place in July.
The Llangollen Canal runs along the northern slopes of the Dee Valley, and boasts one of the most spectacular structures on the waterways of Britain: the Pontcysyllte aqueduct, reopened in March 2005 after a major refurbishment. Engineered by Thomas Telford, nineteen graceful arches carry a 1000ft section of the canal soaring 121ft above the River Dee. Canal boats may be hired for the week or longer for holidays along the canal, which is part of the extensive Shropshire waterways.
The town is overlooked by the mysterious ruin of Dinas Bran Castle, an early Welsh fortification with links to the Arthurian legend. Also from the 12th century, Valle Crucis Abbey stands two miles from the town. In early-English style, it was the last abbey to built in Wales by monks of the Cistercian Order.
Plas Newydd was the home of the famed Ladies of Llangollen who scandalised and intrigued society in the late 18th/early 19th century. The daughters of two wealthy Irish families - one Protestant and one Catholic - the ladies eloped and for fifty years made their home together in Llangollen. Almost as much an attraction on the Grand Tour of Europe as the scenery, the canal and castle ruins, the ladies received a steady stream of visitors intrigued by their eccentric and daring lifestyle. Plas Newydd is now a museum of the artefacts collected by the Ladies through their many and varied interests.
There is also a Dr Who exhibition and ECTARC - the European Centre for Traditional and Regional Cultures.
Surrounded by ornamental gardens, Chirk Castle is half-a-mile west of the town. Begun in the 13th century, wrought iron gates and a 1½ mile arcade of trees guard the building which was restored in the 1840s. From the Marina, boats may be hired for cruises along the Llangollen Canal.
Particularly noteworthy is the station building itself, designed by TK Penson and dating from 1848.
Most of the village lies to the west of the railway, and is largely residential, however, less than three miles to the south is Oswestry, the unofficial hot air ballooning capital of the world.
Oswestry is named after St Oswald, the king of Northumbria who was slain by Pendra, King of Mercia, in AD643. An earlier historical pedigree for the town can be found a mile north of Oswestry, in the remarkable iron age fort standing on top of a 100ft earthwork which offers splendid views of the surrounding countryside.
Also in the area is the world-famous orthopaedic hospital.
Shrewsbury is, perhaps, the best-preserved medieval town in England, but has a history which dates back to the 6th century. Set on rising ground in an almost-complete loop of the River Severn, two reminders of its role as a border town between England and Wales are the Welsh Bridge and the English Bridge across the western and eastern loops, respectively, of the river. The castle - located close to the station - has Norman, Edwardian and Civil War connections, with a tower added by Telford, the 18th century engineer and architect better known for his work with roads, canals and railways. Many old half-timbered buildings remain. The site of the Battle of Shrewsbury - between Henry IV and the rebellious Sir Henry Percy (the Harry Hotspur of Shakespeare's play) - lies three miles to the north.
From Shrewsbury, trains connect with services to Machynlleth and Aberystwyth/Pwllheli or trains on the Marches Line between South Wales and Liverpool/Manchester.
Details of bus routes serving areas surrounding the stations shown will be found on the Traveline Cymru website.
Select this link for the Wrexham and Shropshire Railway Company's official website.
Copyright © 2008/9/10/11 /12/13/14 by Deryck Lewis. All rights
Page created April 25 2008; Updated May 18 2014
If you have any suggestions, comments, or glitches to report, please contact the author at WalesRails