Ponkey Crossing Halt was opened by the Great Western Railway (GWR) on 5 June 1905 according to Clinker’s Great Western Railway: a Register of Halts and Platforms. The Great Western Railway timetable included the halt by November 1906 but, surprisingly, it did not appear in Bradshaw until October 1907. The GWR was notorious for its misspelling of Welsh names as the correct rendering of Ponkey is Ponciau (which means a hillock).
Located to the south of a level crossing on the western edge of Johnstown Village, and a short distance to the east of Rhosllanerchrugog (contracted to Rhos by the GWR), the halt was on the 1¾-mile Ponkey Branch line which had opened for mineral traffic from Gardden Lodge Junction (on the Shrewsbury - Chester Line) to Ponkey on 1 August 1868. The branch was extended by 1¼ miles to Legacy on 27 August 1876 and it was connected to the Rhos branch (at Legacy) in 1901. In order to introduce a passenger service onto the line the section between Ponkey Crossing Halt and Legacy had to be upgraded with improved signalling and it became titled on maps as the Legacy Branch. The distance of the halt from the junction at Legacy was 1 mile 44 chains.
In 1907 there were a number of industries in the vicinity of Ponkey Crossing Halt and housing had been constructed for the workers. The halt was provided to serve the industries and the local residential areas. No photos are known to survive of Ponkey Crossing Halt; it was likely to have consisted of a simple wooden shelter and there might not have been a raised platform.
The November 1906 timetable below (click here to see a larger version) showed twelve trains in each direction on Monday-to-Friday with three additional services on Saturday. The journey time to Wrexham was 17 minutes.
Johnstown village had an electric tram service that ran to and from Wrexham (opened 4 April 1903). The trams competed so successfully with the railway that the rail-motor service was withdrawn on 22 March 1915 and Ponkey Crossing Halt closed completely. Although it was disconnected from the Rhos branch two years after the passenger service ceased the branch continued to serve local industries until 31 August 1964.
Tickets from Michael Stewart and route map by Alan Young
CLICK HERE TO SEE AN OS MAP SHOWING THE PASSENGER RAILWAYS OF THE WREXHAM AREA AT THEIR GREATEST EXTENT
CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED HISTORY OF PONKEY CROSSING HALT AND THE PONKEY BRANCH
- Awdry, C. British railway companies (Guild Publishing,1990)
- Bodlander, A; Hambley, M; Leadbetter, H; Southern, D and Weatherley, S.Wrexham Railways (Bridge Books, 1992)
- Bodlander, A; Hambley, M; Leadbetter, H; Southern, D and Weatherley, S.Wrexham Railways vol.2 (Bridge Books, 1993)
- Bodlander, A; Hambley, M; Leadbetter, H; Southern, D and Weatherley, S. Marcher Railways: the Railways of Wrexham and Oswestry A Photographic Journey (Bridge Books, 2008)
- Clinker, C R. Clinker’s register of closed passenger stations and goods depots in England, Scotland and Wales - 1830 -1977 (Avon-Anglia,1978)
- Cobb, M H The Railways of Great Britain - Volume 1 (Third Edition), Author, 2015
- Quick, Michael Passenger Railway Stations in Great Britain - A Chronology (RCHS, 2009 and on-line supplements)
To see the
other stations on the Legacy Branch click on the station name:
Fennant Road Halt and Aberderfyn Halt
See also: Rhostyllen, Legacy, Rhos, Brook Street Halt, Pant Halt and
Wynn Hall Halt from the Rhos Branch
Click here to see Register of Closed Railways 1901 - 1994