RHOSDDU MOTIVE POWER DEPOT

[Source: Paul Wright]

Rhosddu Locomotive shed had its origins in the earlier Wrexham, Mold & Connahs Quay Railway (WM&CQR) shed that had opened a short distance to the north of the southern end of the companies Wrexham and Buckley Railway which opened to goods services on the 1st of January 1866 and to passenger services in May 1866. The shed was on the western side of the line which at that location ran parallel with the Great Western Railway (GWR) Chester and Shrewsbury line. A simple two road locomotive shed was provided at first but by 1869 a turntable had been provided and there were sidings for the stabling of locomotives. By 1876 a fitting shed was erected which allowed the WM&CQR to undertake major works to its fleet. The WM&CQR shed continued to develop over the years but it was always a very ramshackle affair. The shed serviced locomotives that worked on the WM&CQR which gained a branch to Brymbo in 1889 and which was extended to Shotton in 1890 where it made an end on connection with the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railways (MS&LR) Chester Northgate to Shotton line. The network served numerous collieries, foundries, brick works and other businesses which saw the locomotive fleet of the WM&CQR grow to eighteen. In 1897 the MS&LR changed its name to the Great Central Railway (GCR).


Looking northwards towards the original WM&CQR shed at Wrexham c.1909 after it had been taken over by the GCR. The shed itself seen towards the right was blown down by a gale in 1910.
Photo from Roger Griffiths collection


1912 1:2,500 OS map shows the original shed

On the 1st of January 1905 the (GCR) took over the WM&CQR. They started to introduce their own locomotives to the Wrexham Shed and the former WM&CQR locomotives were painted into GCR livery. The GCR controlled the line from Wrexham to Bidston and its original route to Chester all of which had become a very busy network. The shed at Wrexham was not really adequate. In 1910 the shed itself blew down in a gale and the GCR took the opportunity to rebuild it.


Looking north at Rhosddu shed c.1938 when it was in the ownership of the London & North Eastern Railway. The lines in the foreground are the main line between Wrexham Central and Shotton.
Photo from Roger Griffiths collection

The new shed which the GCR called ‘Rhosddu Shed’ opened in 1912. It consisted of a six road brick built engine shed. Coaling facilities and workshops were also provided and there were spacious storage sidings. The shed would have had a generous allocation of locomotives most of which would have been for goods work. On the 1st of January 1923 Wrexham Rhosddu Shed became part of the London North Eastern Railway (LNER). The business of the shed would have changed very little during the LNER years and being remote from the main part of that companies network it enjoyed a degree of autonomy.


1937 1:2,500 shows the shed as rebuilt in 1912


Looking north at Rhosddu shed in 1953. British Railways re-roofed the shed in the mid 1950s.
Photo from Roger Griffiths collection

At nationalisation on the 1st of January 1948 Rhosddu became part of the British Railways Western Region. British Railways gave Rhosddu the shed code 6E. During the 1950s former GWR locomotives became more common at the shed but LNER types also still remained. The shed also gained British Railways standard classes during the 1950s. In the mid 1950s British Railways re-roofed Rhosddu shed and it was given a new shed code 84K in February 1958. On the 4th of January 1960 the shed was closed completed and its locomotive allocation was moved to the former GWR shed at Wrexham Croes Newydd. The shed was demolished after closure and the land developed with business units.

Rhosddu shed in 1954 after the new roof had been fitted.

Rhosddu shed in its last full year of operation, 1959. On shed were examples of LNER, LMS and British Railways locomotives
Photo from Roger Griffiths collection

Looking north at the site of Rhosddu Motive Power Depot in April 2011. The buildings to the left stand on the site of the shed. Imediately to the right is the former GCR Wrexham Central and Bidston line. Further to the right is the former GWR Chester and Shrewsbury line
P
hoto by Paul Wright


1952

1950s

April 2011

April 2011

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[Source: Paul Wright]




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