Station Name: BERWIG HALT

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 1.5.1905
Location: Immediately south of the former level crossing on the unclassified Church Road, about 150yd south-west of its junction with Cae Glas Lane.
Company on opening: Great Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.1.1931
Date closed completely: 1.1.1931
Company on closing: Great Western Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: Denbighshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ266519
Date of visit: 12.4.2012

Notes: Berwig Halt was the western passenger terminus of the Wrexham & Minera Railway which in its original form ran from a junction with the Chester and Shrewsbury line north of Wrexham called Wheatsheaf to a limeworks at Minera. The line opened in July 1847 and passed through the Moss Valley and Brymbo areas that had mines and ironworks. The line had two very steep rope worked inclines and two tunnels between Wheatsheaf Junction and Brymbo which were a hinderance once traffic levels built up. To solve the problem the Wrexham & Minera Railway (W&MR) company was incorporated on 17 May 1861 to build a three mile line from the Chester and Shrewsbury Railway at Croes Newydd to the original Minera line at Brymbo. The line opened as a single track branch on 22 May 1862 for goods services only and it was able to be worked by locomotives throughout. The original line closed between Brymbo and Moss but the rope worked incline on the east side of the Moss valley remained in use until 1908.

On 11 June 1866 the W&MR was amalgamated as the Wrexham & Minera Joint Railway with the Great Western Railway (GWR) and the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) as part of a plan to create a through route from Mold to Wrexham which opened on 27 January 1872. The sections of line that did not form part of this route, including the route between Brymbo and Minera were vested solely with the GWR in 1871.

The first attempt to introduce a passenger service onto the line had been in July 1866 but it failed as the line was deemed not to be up to passenger-carrying standards. The line between Croes Newydd and Brymbo became double track on 1 April 1882, and on 24 May 1882 the GWR introduced a passenger service between Wrexham General and Brymbo. The service was extended to Coed Poeth on 15 November 1897.

Berwig Halt opened on 1 May 1905 when the passenger service was extended further to the west and given over to ‘railmotor’ operation. It was unusual for a halt to act as a passenger terminus, though in Wales there were several instances of this practice. Robertson (Great Western Railway Halts Vol 11990) notes that parcels traffic was also handled. The halt was 48 chains east of the end of the line at Minera. Situated on the west side of a level crossing it was a simple affair consisting of a timber built single platform located on the north side of the line. A single storey shed provided the only shelter. Steps led from the platform to Church Road. Lighting was provided as were wooden bench seats. On the south side of the line adjacent to the crossing there was a timber signal box that controlled the crossing. A home signal protected the crossing at the eastern end of the halt. The nearest settlement was the village at Minera a short distance to the south.

At the time of opening six railmotors ran from Wrexham General to Berwig Halt on weekdays and six ran back to Wrexham. On Saturdays there service was increased to fifteen trains. Often railmotors had to be replaced with a locomotive and coaches on Saturday afternoons as demand was so heavy. The railmotor took 30 minutes to reach Wrexham General from Berwig, a distance of only four miles.

The halt was supervised by a Grade 1 Porter who was provided with living accomodation in a nearby GWR owned cottage.

On 1 January 1917 Berwig Halt closed as a war time economy measure but it reopened on 2 April 1917.

The July 1922 Bradshaw shows the first weekday arrival at Berwig Halt at 8:05am. It departed for Wrexham General at 8:17am, giving a twelve-minute turnaround time which was more than adequate for a railmotor. There were then departures for Wrexham at 10:22am, 2:40pm and at 3:57pm. On Saturdays there were additional departures at 5:05pm and 7:42pm but the 3:57pm train did not run. There was no Sunday service. The Halt was unstaffed most of the time during this period but on Saturday afternoons
a porter from Wrexham General provided a pressence during the afternoon period and sold tickets. This was because Saturday afternoons were usually very busy.

Bus competition had started to make inroads into passenger traffic receipts by the early 1920s, and by the early 1930s passenger services on the Wrexham and Minera line were hopelessly uneconomic. The GWR withdrew the service completely with effect from 1 January 1931 and Berwig Halt closed completely. It was demolished after closure, leaving no trace. The line had been built to carry the products of local mines, quarries and steelworks and without the passenger service it could concentrate entirely on this traffic.

The line through Berwig Crossing Halt remained busy into the second half of the 20th century although economies were made 25 July 1954 when a number of the level crossings west of Brymbo became unmanned. On the 6 September 1952 the Manchester Locomotive Society ‘Denbighshire Rail Tour’ passed through the site of Berwig Halt as did a brake van tour run by the Wirral Railway Circle on the 24 May 1969.

The line between Brymbo West signal box and Minera closed with effect from 1 January 1972, and it was lifted shortly after.

To See a film of the Wrexham & Minera Railway click here.

Ticket from Michael Stewart, Bradshaw from Nick Catford , route map drawn by Alan Young.

Sources:

  • British Railway Companies, C. Awdry, 1990, Guild Publishing.
  • Clinkers Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales - 1830 -1970 , C. R. Clinker & J. M. Firth, 1971
  • Forgotten Railways - North and Mid Wales, Rex Christiansen, 1976, David & Charles.
  • Marcher Railways, by A. Bodlander, M. Hambly, H. Leadbetter, D. Southern & S. Weatherley, 2008, Bridge Books.
  • Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain, M Quick, 2009, RCHS.
  • Railway World - February 1987 - The Wrexham & Minera Joint Railway, Rex Christiansen, Ian Allan Publishing.
  • Bradshaw Timetable July 1922.

To see other stations on the Wrexham and Minera Railway click on the station name: Plas Power, The Lodge, Brymbo (GWR), Brymbo West Crossing Halt, Pentresaeson Halt, Coed Poeth & Vicarage Crossing Halt.

See also Moss Valley Line: Gatewen Halt, Pentre Broughton Halt, Gwersyllt Hill Halt & Moss Halt

See Also:
Minera

Berwig Halt looking south east in the early years of the 20th Century. A level crossing can be seen down the lane with the halt situated to the right. A man can be seen leaning against the gate that provided access from the lane to the halt. On the platform nearest to the photographer can be seen a small wooden shed which was the ticket office. On the other side of the line can be seen the Berwig signal box.
P
hoto by Arthur Jones from the John Alsop Collection




A map showing Berwig Halt shortly after it had opened.

The site of Berwig Halt looking west in the 1960s. The platform had been just beyond the level crossing gate on the right. The line was still in use at this time by goods trains serving the Minera Limeworks.
Photo by John Smith from the John Mann Collection


Looking west towards Berwig Halt from a Minera bound goods train in the 1960s.

Looking west along the trackbed of the Wrexham and Minera Railway at the site of Berwig Halt in April 2012. The platform was to the right beyond the gate.
P
hoto by Paul Wright

The site of Berwig Halt looking east in April 2012. The platform was to the left.
P
hoto by Paul Wright

Looking east at the site of Berwig Halt in April 2012.
Photo by Paul Wright




 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]




Last updated: Sunday, 04-Jun-2017 08:40:06 BST
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