BRYMBO MIDDLE

[Source: Paul Wright]


Brymbo Middle looking south in the first decade of the 20th century. The line going straight ahead was the Vron branch which served the Vron Colliery and the Steel works. The line veering off to the left and falling steeply was the route to Wrexham. Behind the photographer the railway continued to Minera. The level crossing at Brymbo Middle crossed three tracks.
Copyright photo from John Alsop Collection

Brymbo Middle was located on the Wrexham and Minera Railway in the village of Brymbo. The line had opened from Wheatsheaf Junction to Minera in July 1847 and in November 1847 a branch was opened from Brymbo Middle to a colliery at Vron creating a junction. A level crossing also passed over the line at Brymbo Middle. The original line was very steeply graded between Wheatsheaf Junction and Brymbo and included two rope worked inclined planes and two tunnels.

On 22 May 1862 a line was opened from Croes Newydd to the original route at Brymbo that was able to be worked by locomotives. The line between Croes Newydd and Brymbo West was doubled from April 1882.


Brymbo as it was in appeared on a 1912 map. Brymbo Middle is marked by a blue arrow. The Vron branch can be seen running from Brymbo Middle down the middle of the map passing through the Brymbo Steel and Iron Works. Coming in from the east can be seen the Wrexham and Minera line from Wrexham.

A crossing keepers cottage, located on the east side of the line on the north side of the road, was present from the opening of the line and in the early days it is likely that the individual employed to control the crossing also looked after the junction. as the line got busier a sign box was provided. The signal box was located on the west side of the line to the north of the level crossing.


Brymbo as it was in appeared on a 1961 map.

The line through Brymbo Middle remained busy well into the second half of the twentieth century. On 1 January 1972 the line from Brymbo West to Minera closed completely after rail traffic from the Minera limeworks had ceased. Trains running between Croes Newydd and the Brymbo steelworks continued to run to the site of Brymbo West Crossing Halt to perform a reverse thereby passing over the Brymbo Middle crossing twice. This traffic seemed to be secure, but a national strike by steel workers began on 1 January 1980. The Brymbo works was not part of the nationalised British Steel and it continued to work normally, but the railway workers, decided to support their striking colleagues at British Steel. They ‘blacked’ traffic from Brymbo for a period of two weeks, during which time the works used road transport, much of it did not return to the railway. By 1981 all that remained was a daily trip that brought out finished products. By 1982 there were only three trains per week running. The last train ran on 29 September 1982. The line between Croes Newydd and Brymbo Middle signal box closed completely on 1 October 1982. After closure of the line it was lifted and housing was developed on the trackbed at Brymbo Middle.


Looking south at Brymbo Middle in the mid 1960s as a train of wagons is brought out of the steelworks.
Photo by Ted Baxendale from the Kerry Parker Flickr photostream


On 27 September 1977, 25165 heads down the bank from Brymbo Middle with 9T80 carrying steel from Brymbo steelworks. This train first headed from top left of the picture (where the steelworks was located) down the works branch to Brymbo Middle signal box (out of sight upper mid-right). Regulations allowed trains of under 15 wagons to be gravity shunted there, which allowed a quick reversal and avoided the need for the loco to run to Brymbo West GF to run round. After reversing, the train, as seen here, crosses the valley towards Brymbo West signalbox as it returns to Croes Newydd Yard. In 1977, there were 7 weekday trips up to Brymbo along the double tracked branch, and 6 on Saturday mornings. The parked cars on the left of the picture are on the site of the old Goods Yard, and the line of green bushes on the centre-right of the picture mark the course of the LNWR branch to Mold, which left the GWR line at the bottom of this picture, ran parallel to it across the road bridge and then diverged to the right
Copyright photo by Dave Plimmer from 'Main Line Railways of North Wales' website.


Looking north from the site of Brymbo Middle Level Crossing in January 2010.
Photo by Paul Wright


Looking west at the site of Brymbo Middle level crossing in January 2010. The railway had passed from left to right the flat area of road marking the site of the level crossing.
Photo by Paul Wright

See also: Brymbo (GWR) & Brymbo West Crossing Halt.


 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]




Last updated: Thursday, 18-May-2017 16:17:34 BST
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