John Speller's Web Pages Disasters at Rhos Branch

John Speller's Web Pages - Great Western Railway Narrow Gauge

Rhos Branch
Authorized under an Act of 1801, the Ruabon Brook Tramway linked the Ruabon coalfield to the Shropshire Union Canal at Pontcysyllte. It served Hazledine’s Iron Works and numerous collieries. The 3-mile tramway opened on 26 Nov 1805 from Pontcysyllte to Acrefair. The Engineer was William Jessop (1745-1814). The line was extended in 1808 from Acrefair to the Plas Madoc Colliery in Plasbennion, and later to Wynn Hall. In the 1860s the Great Western Railway gained control of the line (except for a 10 chain connection with the Shropshire Union Canal which belonged to the London & North Western Railway) and converted it from a tramway to a railway, which became known as the Pontcysyllte Branch. An extension to Rhosllannerchrugog opened on 30 January1867 which continued as the Rhos Branch via Legacy and Rhostyllen and eventually joined the main line slightly South of Croes Newydd junction. At first the line was intended for used for goods only, but in 1902 passenger service was introduced between Wrexham and Rhos. This was extended to Wynn Hall when railmotor service was introduced in 1905. The line rather curiously does not appear on the 1905 Railway Clearing House Junction Diagram for Wrexham. Passenger service was withdrawn on 1 January 1931, and goods service was progressively withdrawn between 1950 and 1968.

Map of the Rhos Branch
Hawksworth "16xx" Class pannier tank No. 1655 on the Rhos Colliery branch at Penybanc Colliery near Pantyfynnon 1 June 1962. Image © copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License
Rhostyllen railway station in a postcard view of around 1914
A surprisingly well-appointed Rhos railway station at around the time railmotor service was introduced in 1905
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