Station Name: PLAS POWER (WM & CQR)

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 1.8.1889
Location: Under the Wrexham to Brymbo road.
Company on opening: Wrexham, Mold & Connahs Quay Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.3.1917
Date closed completely: 2.4.1956
Company on closing: Great Central Railway
Present state: Demolished and site lost under a bypass road.
County: Denbighshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ303517
Date of visit: 6.2.2011 & 20.2.2011

Notes: Plas Power station was situated on the Wrexham, Mold & Connahs Quay Railways (WM&CQR) Brymbo branch which ran from a junction (known as Brymbo Junction) with the company’s main line just to the north of Rhosddu to Brymbo. The main line had opened from Wrexham to Buckley on 1st May 1866.  Brymbo was a well established industrial centre for the metal industry by the time the WM&CQR main line was opened and, surrounding the town, there were many collieries. The first railway to reach Brymbo had opened in 1847 but it s course followed gradients too steep for locomotives to tackle. Rope-hauled ‘inclined planes’ were required to move materials up and down the valley. The Great Western Railway (GWR) opened a branch to Brymbo from Cross Newydd in 1862 that followed a route that locomotives could work. It was with this route that the WM&CQR wanted to compete. It was not until 18th August 1882 that the WM&CQR obtained a Bill to construct its line to Brymbo, and it took six years to build, opening to goods services in 1888.

Plas Power WM&CQR station was just less than 3½ miles from Wrexham Central and opened on 1st August 1889. Goods services had started to run to Plas Power in the autumn of 1887. The station was located on an embankment to the south-east of Southsea on the south side of Church Road.  Although the Brymbo branch was single-track it was double through Plas Power, and the station was provided with two platforms. The main facilities were in a brick building on the Wrexham-bound (‘up’) platform. Paths connected the platforms to the road at the north end of the station. 

To the north and to the south of the station there were sidings and connections to collieries. North of the station a branch forked to the west serving Plas Power Colliery and, to the south, there was a branch to New Broughton Colliery.

A short distance south-east of Plas Power WM&CQR station was Plas Power GWR station. It was on the Cross Newyyd to Brymbo line and had opened in February 1883. It provided a more direct route to Wrexham. There were connections between the two systems and a flat crossing that allowed GWR trains to access Plas Power Colliery.

The first passenger train from Plas Power WM&CQR station departed for Wrexham Central at 8.07am on the day of opening. A smartly turned-out engine, wearing a fresh coat of paint, hauled five coaches on the first run. The first timetable had four trains in each direction on weekdays between Brymbo and Wrexham Central. Two additional services ran in each
direction on Saturdays. In 1891 there were still four trains in each direction but there were extra services on Mondays and Saturdays. The Saturday service included six extra trains to Wrexham Central with eight return workings, the last leaving Wrexham Central for Brymbo at 10.05 pm. The service proved very popular with local residents who travelled into Wrexham for shopping trips and particularly on Saturday afternoons to visit the pubs of the town. So popular were the Saturday evening trips to Wrexham that a policeman had to be deployed at Wrexham Central station to ensure that the drunken crowds boarded the Brymbo-bound trains and thereby got out of Wrexham.

In 1900 the timetable was similar to that of 1891. On 1st January 1905 Plas Power WM&CQR Station became part of the Great Central Railway (GCR). The GCR had embroiled the WM&CQR in a scheme that brought about the construction of a line from Shotton to Bidston where a connection was made with the Wirral Railway (WR) thereby providing access to the lucrative docks at Birkenhead. The scheme had stretched the WM&CQR to bankruptcy, and the GCR took full advantage of the situation.

Train services at Plas Power continued to run to Brymbo and to Wrexham Central much as they had done in WM&CQR days but additional halts were opened on the branch by the GCR at Highfield Road and at New Broughton Road.

On 1st May 1905 the GWR introduced a ‘railmotor’ onto its Brymbo and Wrexham branch. They also extended the service and opened new halts. A great deal of passenger traffic was lost to the GCR who also introduced a ‘railmotor’ but it could not compensate for the inconvenient location of some of its other stations such as Brymbo. Also towards the end of the decade motor bus competition began to further erode the GCR’s passenger traffic. On 1st March 1917 the GCR withdrew the passenger service from Brymbo to Wrexham Central and closed its Plas Power station to passengers.

The original purpose of the branch had been to carry goods and it had always had more goods than passenger trains; it therefore remained lucrative to the GCR. On 1st January 1923 Plas Power became part of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). In 1938 Plas Power Colliery closed; New Broughton Colliery had closed in 1910.

On 1st January 1948 Plas Power became part of the nationalised British Railways (Western Region). On 30th November 1954 British Railways installed a new connection from the former GWR line to the former GCR line at Plas Power. It was located just north of the station and allowed trains to travel up to Brymbo along the GCR route from Cross Newyyd Yard. The new arrangement allowed British Railways to close the line from Plas Power to Brymbo Junction North Fork. With the closure of this section of the line the station no longer saw through traffic. It did remain open for goods, however, until 2nd April 1956. The track between Plas Power and Brymbo Junction North Fork was lifted in 1958.

By the early 1990s the site of the Plas Power WM&CQR station was lost under a bypass road.

Sources:

Ticket from Michael Stewart, route map drawn by Alan Young, Bradshaw from Chris Hind.

To see other stations between Wrexham Central and Brymbo (WM&CQR) click on the station name:

Wrexham Central, Wrexham Exchange, Rhosddu, Highfield Road Halt, Moss & Pentre, New Broughton Road Halt, Brymbo (WM&CQR)


The site of Plas Power station (WM&CQR) looking south east in February 1980. Nothing survived of the station by this date.
Photo by John Mann


1912 1" OS map


The 1947 1" OS map still shows Plas Power as a closed station. Moss & Pentre is the only other station on the branch still shown at this time.

1912 1:2,500 OS map

Looking south east towards the site of Plas Power station in February 2011. The station was located in the trees in the middle distance on an embankment. The site of the station has been much altered by road building since the closure of the line at this point in 1970.
P
hoto by Paul Wright

Looking south east towards Plas Power station from a surviving section of the embankment that was once part of the WM&CQR Brymbo branch. The station was about 100 metres beyond the trees.
Photo by Paul Wright

The road shown in this view from February 2011 hacks right through the site of Plas Power WM&CQR station. The station would have been on the far side of the bridge slightly towards the right.
Photo by Paul Wright




 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]




Last updated: Tuesday, 17-May-2011 20:59:21 BST
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