Station Name: CEFN

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: 7.1849
Location: The west side of New Bridge Road
Company on opening: Shrewsbury & Chester Railway
Date closed to passengers: 12.9.1960
Date closed completely: 12.9.1960
Company on closing: British Railways (Western Region)
Present state: Demolished
County: Denbighshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ283418
Date of visit: 6.4.2012

Notes: Cefn was situated on the Shrewsbury & Chester Railway (S&C) which opened throughout on 14 October 1848. The S&CR was formed in July 1846 out of a merger of the North Wales Mineral Railway (NWMR) and the Shrewsbury, Oswestry & Chester Junction Railway (SO&CJR). The NWMR had been formed on 6 August 1844 to create a line between the industrial areas around Wrexham and Chester. They started construction of a 14½-mile line later that year. The SO&CJR was set up to create a route between Shrewsbury and Chester and the merger enabled that task to be carried out through an extension of the NWMR line. On 4 November 1846 the S&C opened between Chester and a temporary station at Rhosymedre which was on the north side of the Vale of Llangollen. To span the vale a 19 arch viaduct had to be built and it was still under construction when the first section of the line opened.

When the line opened throughout the temporary station at Rhosymedre remained in use for nine months while a permanent station was constructed 20 chains to the north; that station was Cefn.

Cefn was located on the southern edge of Cefn Mawr on the west side of the New Bridge Road.

The main facilities were located on the up side (Shrewsbury direction) of the double-track line in a single-storey brick structure under a pitched roof. The slope of the roof was carried forward over the platform to provide shelter, and a valance finished it off at each end. The down platform had a simple pent-roof timber waiting shelter. The upward slope of the roof was continued by a modest awning with a serrated valance.

Passengers crossed the line by a foot crossing. The station was not provided with goods facilities but to the north there were sidings that served local collieries.

Cefn was served by trains that ran between Shrewsbury and Chester and also onto the Oswestry branch.

The March 1850 timetable showed five up and four down trains Monday-to-Saturday as shown in the table below. On Sundays there were two trains in each direction.

Up Trains March 1850 Destination Down Trains March 1850 Destination
5.09am Shrewsbury 8.01am Chester
8.52am Shrewsbury 9.40am Chester
2.33pm Shrewsbury 3.24pm Chester
6.08pm Shrewsbury 7.43pm Chester
9.55pm Oswestry    

On 1 September 1854 the S&CR was taken over by the Great Western Railway (GWR). To read more about the S&C and the events that led up to the takeover click here.

Under the GWR the line through Presgwyn became a busy trunk railway that carried express and local passenger trains and large volumes of freight. A Birmingham – Birkenhead express service was introduced on 1 May 1857 and a London Paddington – Birkenhead service on 1 October 1861. These were prestigious trains that called only at principal stations.

The December 1895 timetable showed only six up and four down trains Monday-to-Saturday with an extra down service on Wednesdays. There were still two trains each way on Sundays.

In 1903 39,799 passenger tickets were sold and 9,509 parcels were handled. A decade later in 1913 the station sold 65,171 tickets and handled 10,149 parcels.

In 1913 a footbridge was added which made crossing the line safer. It was located to the north of the station building.

The July 1922 timetable showed a service improvement with eleven up and six down trains Monday-to-Saturday with an extra service each way on Wednesdays. There were two trains each way on Sundays.

The station continued to experience growth in passenger and parcels business and in 1923 85,384 tickets were sold and 10,713 parcels were handled.

After 1923 the stations fortunes went into decline and in 1933 ticket sales were down to 25,514 probably as a result of local bus competition. Parcel traffic remained buoyant with 13,951 being handled in that year.

On 1 January 1948 Cefn became part of British Railways [Western Region] (BR[WR]). The summer timetable for 1949 showed eleven up and nine down trains Monday-to-Saturday as seen in the table below. Two trains ran in each direction on Sundays.

Up Trains Summer 1949 Destination Down Trains Summer 1949 Destination
6.52am Oswestry 7.58am Ruabon
7.50am London Paddington 8.44am Chester General
8.08am Shrewsbury 11.04am Wrexham General
9.38am Oswestry 1.03pm Wrexham General
11.57am Oswestry 2.40pm Chester General
2.24pm Shrewsbury 5.57pm Chester General
4.26pm Gobowen 7.49pm Wrexham General
5.59pm Oswestry 9.23pm Wrexham General
7.10pm Birmingham Snow Hill 10.17pm Wrexham General
8.14pm Oswestry    
10.52pm Oswestry    

The 19 September 1955 timetable showed only six up and four down trains Monday-to-Saturday and no trains on Sunday. Three years later the 15 September 1958 timetable showed a reduction of one Monday-to-Saturday down train.

On 12 September 1960 BR[WR] closed Cefn completely. The down platform was demolished within a couple of years and the footbridge was removed. The up platform and station building were extant in 1965 but had been demolished by 1974.

Nothing remained of the station in 2016.

Tickets from Michael Stewart and route map by Alan Young

Sources:

  • A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain - Volume II North & Mid Wales - Peter E Baughan - David & Charles 1980.
  • Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies - Christopher Awdry - Guild Publishing 1990.
  • Paddington to the Mersey - Dr R. Preston Hendry & R. Powell Hendry - Oxford Publishing Company 1992.
  • Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain - A Chronology - Michael Quick - Railway & Canal Historical Society 2009.

To see the other closed stations on the Shrewsbury - Chester General line click on the station name:Shrewsbury S&C, Leaton, Oldwoods Halt, Baschurch, Stanwardine Halt, Haughton Halt, Rednal & West Felton, Whittington Low Level, Weston Rhyn, Trehowell Halt, Llangollen Road, Whitehurst Halt, Rhosymedre, Rhosymedre Halt, Wynnville Halt, Rhos, Johnstown & Hafod, Rhosrobin Halt, Gresford, Rossett, Pulford, Balderton and Saltney


Looking north along the down platform at Cefn station in the 1920s. The footbridge was not an original feature of the station and was only installed in 1913.
Copyright p
hoto from the John Alsop collection


Cefn station shown on a six-inch scale map from 1872.


Cefn station shown on a 1:2,500 scale map from before 1913. The station footbridge is not shown as it was only added in that year.

The site of Cefn station looking north in January 1974.
P
hoto by John Mann

Looking towards the site of Cefn station from the entrance gates on 6 April 2012.
P
hoto by Paul Wright

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]




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