Station Name: VICARAGE CROSSING HALT

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 1.5.1905
Location: Immediately east of the junction of the residential cul-de-sac Eversley Court and Vicarage Hill; the site is about 150yd north of the junction between  Vicarage Hill and Minera Hall Road B5426.
Company on opening: Great Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 1.1.1931
Date closed completely: 1.1.1931
Company on closing: Great Western Railway
Present state: Demolished
County: Denbighshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ272520
Date of visit: 6.2.2011

Notes: Vicarage Crossing Halt was situated on the Wrexham & Minera Railway which in its original form ran from a junction with the Chester and Shrewsbury line north of Wrexham called Wheatsheaf to a limeworks at Minera. The line opened in July 1847 and passed through the Moss Valley and Brymbo areas that had mines and ironworks. The line had two very steep rope worked inclines and two tunnels between Wheatsheaf Junction and Brymbo which were a hinderance once traffic levels built up. To solve the problem the Wrexham & Minera Railway (W&MR) company was incorporated on 17 May 1861 to build a three mile line from the Chester and Shrewsbury Railway at Croes Newydd to the original Minera line at Brymbo. The line opened as a single track branch on 22 May 1862 for goods services only and it was able to be worked by locomotives throughout. The original line closed between Brymbo and Moss but the rope worked incline on the east side of the Moss valley remained in use until 1908.

On 11 June 1866 the W&MR was amalgamated as the Wrexham & Minera Joint Railway with the Great Western Railway (GWR) and the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) as part of a plan to create a through route from Mold to Wrexham; it opened on 27 January 1872. The sections of line that did not form part of this route, including the route between Brymbo and Minera were vested solely with the GWR in 1871.

The first attempt to introduce a passenger service onto the line had been in July 1866 but it failed as the line was deemed not to be up to passenger-carrying standards. The line between Croes Newydd and Brymbo became double track on 1 April 1882, and on 24 May 1882 the GWR introduced a passenger service between Wrexham General and Brymbo. The service was extended to Coed Poeth on the 15 November 1897.

Vicarage Crossing Halt opened on 1 May 1905 when the passenger service was extended to Berwig Halt and given over to ‘railmotor’ operation. Located on the east side of a level crossing, the halt was a simple affair. A small timber shed on the south side of the line provided the only shelter. The platform was at track level and short. Opposite the halt on the north side of the line was a crossing keeper’s cottage that dated from the opening of the line. To the rear of the cottage was a goods siding that also had a loading platform.

On the west side of the level crossing on the north side of the line there was a small single storey wooden signal box that controlled the crossing.

At the time of opening six railmotors ran from Vicarage Crossing Halt to

Berwig Halt on weekdays and six ran back to Wrexham. On Saturdays the service was increased to fifteen trains. Often railmotors had to be replaced with a locomotive and coaches on Saturday afternoons as demand was so heavy. The railmotor took 27 minutes to reach Wrexham General from Vicarage Crossing, a distance of just under four miles.

On 1 January 1917 Vicarage Crossing Halt was closed as a wartime economy measure, but it reopened on 2 April 1917.

The July 1922 Bradshaw shows weekday departures from Vicarage Crossing Halt for Berwig Halt at 8:03am, 10:08am, 2:31pm and at 3:48pm. There were departures for Wrexham General at 8:19am, 10:26am, 2:42pm and at 3:59pm. On Saturdays there were additional departures at 5:07pm and 7:44pm but the 3:59pm train did not run. There was no Sunday service.

Bus competition had started to make inroads into passenger traffic receipts by the early 1920s, and by the early 1930s passenger services on the Wrexham and Minera line were hopelessly uneconomic. The GWR withdrew the service completely with effect from 1 January 1931 and Vicarage Crossing Halt closed completely. It was demolished after closure, leaving no trace. The line had been built to carry the products of local mines, quarries and steelworks and without the passenger service it could concentrate entirely on this traffic.

The line through Vicarage Crossing Halt remained busy into the second half of the 20th century although economies were made from 25 July 1954 when a number of the level crossings west of Brymbo, not including Vicarage Crossing, became unmanned. On the 6 September 1952 the Manchester Locomotive Society ‘Denbighshire Rail Tour’ passed through the site of Vicarage Crossing Halt as did a brake van tour run by the Wirral Railway Circle on the 24 May 1969.

The line between Brymbo West signal box and Minera closed with effect from 1 January 1972, and it was lifted shortly after. In February 2011 the crossing keeper’s cottage was still standing and in use as a private residence. The goods siding loading ramp was also extant.

Ticket from Michael Stewart, Bradshaw from Nick Catford , route map drawn by Alan Young.

Sources:

  • British Railway Companies, C. Awdry, 1990, Guild Publishing.
  • Clinkers Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales - 1830 -1970 , C. R. Clinker & J. M. Firth, 1971
  • Marcher Railways, by A. Bodlander, M. Hambly, H. Leadbetter, D. Southern & S. Weatherley, 2008, Bridge Books.
  • Forgotten Railways - North and Mid Wales, Rex Christiansen, 1976, David & Charles.
  • Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain, M Quick, 2009, RCHS.
  • Railway World - February 1987 - The Wrexham & Minera Joint Railway, Rex Christiansen, Ian Allan Publishing.
  • Bradshaw Timetable July 1922.

To see other stations on the Wrexham and Minera Railway click on the station name: Plas Power (GWR), The Lodge, Brymbo (GWR), Brymbo West Crossing Halt, Pentresaeson Halt, Coed Poeth & Berwig Halt

See also Moss Valley Line stations: Gatewen Halt, Pentre Broughton Halt, Gwersyllt Hill Halt & Moss Halt

See Also: Minera


Looking east at Vicarage Crossing around 1960. The halt was on the far side of the crossing, to the right. On the far side of the crossing, to the left, is the crossing keeper’s cottage which would have been constructed at the same time as the line and therefore pre-dated the halt by nearly sixty years. Behind the cottage is a goods siding with loading ramp. Mineral wagons can be seen parked in the siding.
Photo by Hugh Davies



Vicarage Crossing Halt, looking east in the 1960s. The platform had been to the right of the line. To the left are the goods siding and loading ramp. An ex-GWR pannier tank locomotive is seen passing through the halt en route to the Minera Limeworks.

Looking east at the site of Vicarage Crossing Halt in February 1980 eight years after the line had closed. Artefacts from the Wrexham & Minera Railway can be seen in abundance. The cars in the view are standing on the trackbed of the former line. The goods siding loading ramp can be seen to the right; the passenger platform had been to the left.
Photo by John Mann

Vicarage Crossing Halt in April 1996. Although the line had closed in 1972 rails could still be seen embedded in the road surface of the former level crossing. The original crossing keeper’s cottage that dated from the opening of the line had become a private residence.
Photo by Alan Young

Looking east at the site of Vicarage Crossing Halt in February 2011.
Photo by Paul Wright


Vicarage Crossing Halt, looking west in February 2011.
Photo by Paul Wright


Click on thumbnail to enlarge


 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]




Last updated: Tuesday, 23-May-2017 09:07:14 BST
© 1998-2012 Disused Stations