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Wrexham Central railway station is the smaller of two railway stations serving the central area of Wrexham in Wales, the other being Wrexham General. 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.

Wrexham Central National Rail
Welsh: Wrecsam Canolog
Wrexham Central station (2).JPG
Location
PlaceWrexham
Local authorityWrexham
Coordinates53°02′46″N 2°59′58″W / 53.0462°N 2.9994°W / 53.0462; -2.9994Coordinates: 53°02′46″N 2°59′58″W / 53.0462°N 2.9994°W / 53.0462; -2.9994
Grid referenceSJ333502
Operations
Station codeWXC
Managed byTransport for Wales
Number of platforms1
DfT categoryF1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 53,142
2014/15Increase 73,444
2015/16Decrease 73,180
2016/17Increase 74,184
2017/18Increase 88,568
History
Original companyWrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Central Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
1 November 1887Original station opened
2 November 1895Route to Ellesmere opened
10 September 1962Route to Ellesmere closed
23 November 1998Station 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 and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

The current station was constructed in 1998 within a retail park in Wrexham town centre known as Island Green. It replaced the first Central station, opened on 1 November 1887, which was a larger station located around 250 metres to the east. The older station closed on 23 November 1998 and the site was cleared as part of the retail development.

HistoryEdit

The original stationEdit

 
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 closed to passengers on 10 September 1962,[4] and Wrexham Central almost met a similar fate (it was listed for closure in the Beeching Report of 1963).[5] As Wrexham was undergoing population growth at the time and protests against the proposal were widespread, it was decided to retain it due to being conveniently close to the town centre. The station became unstaffed from 7 February 1972[6] and it was reduced to a single track station in August 1973,[7] with a small concrete shelter and an adjacent stabling siding. Part of the old W&ER remained in use for freight as far as Abenbury Sidings until final closure in May 1981.[5]

Freight and goodsEdit

The goods depot and marshalling yard were used until 7 December 1964,[8] after which they were reduced to a large car park and railway club. The station and goods yard had a 56-lever signal box, which was used until 19 August 1973.[8]

 
Oswestry, Gwersyllt, Plas Power & Wrexham map from the Railway Clearing House.

The present stationEdit

In 1998, a large shopping centre was to be built on the entire area, and the station was moved west by 400 yards (370 metres).[9] 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, and the new station was opened on 23 November 1998.[9] 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.[10]

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,[11] but further progress is dependent on a favourable business case being put forward and funding secured.[12][13]

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 Arriva Trains Wales from late 2003, and Transport for Wales from 2018.

ServicesEdit

 
An Arriva Trains Wales Class 150 waits at the station, before returning to Bidston.
 
The new battery hybrid trains to be used from 2021

The station has an hourly service to Shotton and Bidston on Monday to Saturday daytimes, dropping to two-hourly in the evenings and on Sundays and bank holidays. From December 2021 the service will improve to two trains per hour using Class 230 fully refurbished metro trains with battery assistance (hybrid).[14][15] [16]

Alighting at Bidston allows for connections to the Merseyrail Wirral line, with westbound services to West Kirby and eastbound services to Liverpool via Birkenhead, both quarter-hourly during the day and half-hourly during the evenings and early mornings.

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Wrexham General   Transport for Wales
Borderlands Line
  Terminus
Disused railways
Terminus   Cambrian Railways
Wrexham and Ellesmere Railway
  Hightown Halt
Line and station closed

ReferencesEdit

SourcesEdit

  • Dow, George (1965). Great Central, Volume Three: Fay Sets the Pace, 1900-1922. Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0 7110 0263 0.
  • Kidner, R.W. (1992) [1954]. The Cambrian Railways. The Oakwood Library of Railway History (2nd ed.). Headington: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0 85361 439 3. OL55.
  • Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (2013). Wrexham to New Brighton. West Sussex: Middleton Press. ISBN 9781908174475. OCLC 859543196.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit