GATEWEN OPENCAST DISPOSAL POINT

[Source: P.G.Hindley & Paul Wright]


The Gatewen Opencast Disposal Point looking north in February 1965. The resident locomotive was Austerity 0‑6‑0ST RSH 7162/44, which was probably a NCBOE, loco although initially it did carry Sir Alfred McAlpine lettering on the saddle tank. It is seen in this picture about to pass under the Gatewen Road overbridge.
Copyright photo by P G Hindley

The Gatewen Opencast Disposal Point was opened by the National Coal Board (NCB) in 1957 to act as a loading point for coal that had been mined from opencast workings at Pool Covert in the Vron area. The ‘Disposal Point’ was located on the site of Gatewen Colliery which had opened in 1877 and closed in 1932.

The NCB chose the site at Gatewen because it was easy to connect it to the railway network. The site used the former Wrexham Mold & Connahs Quay Railway (WM&CQR) Brymbo branch from Brymbo North Junction, located on the Wrexham and Bidston line, to the site at Gatewen. It also used a section of the former Great Western Railway (GWR) Moss Valley Branch between the site of Gatewen Halt and a point just to the south of the site of Pentre Broughton Halt.

The disposal point was provided with a loading hopper, sidings, and an engine shed which housed a single locomotive. A haulage road ran into the site along the former Moss Valley branch from the site of Moss Junction which was where the branch had connected to the Wrexham & Minera Railway. There were also a collection of small buildings and sheds.

When the site opened it was operated by Sir Alfred McAlpine & Sons Ltd on behalf of the NCBOE (NCB Opencast Executive). The resident loco at this time was Austerity 0 6 0ST RSH 7162/44, which was probably a NCBOE loco, although initially it did carry Sir Alfred McAlpine lettering on the saddle tank. The opencast facility operated until the early months of 1966 after which it closed for a period.

In circa 1972 operations began again but alterations had been made. The Moss Valley line south of Gatewen Halt to Moss Junction had reopened, allowing trains to reach the Disposal Point from Croes Newydd Yard. The stub of the WM&CQR from Gatewen to Brymbo North Junction had closed in 1970 and had been lifted. Alterations to the track layout were also undertaken within the Disposal Point. From 1972 the site was operated by Lindley Plant Ltd on behalf of the NCBOE. Operation began with a Unilok road-rail tractor, then for a short period ex-BR 03 D2148, followed by the longer-term resident D2182. The dispatch of opencast-mined coal from Gatewen ended around about January 1980.

In 1983 coal was brought into Gatewen from Point of Ayr Colliery for storage, probably as part of the government’s preparation for a miners’ strike. In August 1983 there was a derailment at the site which damaged the track, and rail operations ceased. The lines lay disused for a period and were lifted in 1989. In 2011 the site was developed with housing.

See also: Gatewen Halt


A busy scene at the Gatewen Opencast Disposal Point on 10 August 1983 during the period when coal was being brought to the site from Point of Ayr Colliery and stored.
Copyright photo by P G Hindley


The Gatewen Opencast Disposal Point shown on a 1961 map.


The loading hopper at the Gatewen Opencast Disposal point on 4 March 1983.
Photo by Keith Spencer


The Gatewen Opencast Disposal Point Locomotive shed as seen in 2008.
Photo by Howard C Harrison from his panoramio website.


The site of the Gatewen Opencast Disposal Point loading hopper seen in 2008 looking north.
Photo by Howard C Harrison from his panoramio website.


The site of the Gatewen Opencast Disposal point looking north in April 2012.
Photo by Paul Wright

To see a selection of pictures of the Gatewen Opencast Disposal Point click here.




 

 

 

[Source: P.G.Hindley & Paul Wright]




Last updated: Thursday, 18-May-2017 16:19:46 BST
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