Station Name: WYNNVILLE HALT

[Source: Paul Wright]


Date opened: 1.2.1934
Location: North side of B5605
Company on opening: Great Western Railway
Date closed to passengers: 12.9.1960
Date closed completely: 12.9.1960
Company on closing: British Railways (Western Region)
Present state: Demolished
County: Denbighshire
OS Grid Ref: SJ304444
Date of visit: 6.4.2012

Notes: Wynnville Halt was located on the Great Western Railway’s (GWR) main line that linked Birmingham to the River Mersey at Birkenhead via Chester. The section of line on which Wynnville was located (between Saltney Junction and Ruabon) had opened on 4 November 1846. It had been promoted by the North Wales Mineral Railway (NWMR) who started work on it in 1844. In July 1846 the NWMR merged with the Shrewsbury, Oswestry & Chester Junction Railway (who had been set up to create a route between Chester & Shrewsbury) to form the Shrewsbury & Chester Railway (S&CR). The S&CR opened an extension of the former NWMR from Wrexham to Shrewsbury on 14 October 1848. The GWR took over on 1 September 1854 (click here to read more about the S&CR).

The halt at Wynnville was opened on 1 February 1934 to serve the small settlement and some local industries just north of Ruabon. It was situated on the north side of a bridge which carried the line over the A483 road (modern day B5605). Access was via concrete steps that linked the halt’s up (Shrewsbury direction) and down (Chester direction) platforms to the road.

The halt was very basic consisting of timber platforms with simple timber waiting shelters.
To the south of the halt was Gardden Lodge Junction where a branch line to Ponkey diverged from the main line. It opened on 1 August 1868 as far as the furnaces at Ponkey, a distance of 1¾ miles. It was extended northwards on 27 August 1876 to Legacy and again on 5 June 1905 when it was connected to the GWR Rhos branch. Although passenger services were introduced onto the branch in 1905 they ran only between Ponkey and Wrexham, going northwards from the former.

For a small halt Wynnville could boast a variety of destinations. Up services ran to Bala, Gobowen, Llangollen, Oswestry and Shrewsbury. In the opposite direction they ran to Wrexham General and Chester General.

On 1 January 1948 the line became part of British Railways [Western Region] (BR[WR]).
The summer timetable for 1949 showed twelve up and eight down services Monday-to-Friday as seen in the table below. There was an extra down service on Saturdays and no trains called at the halt on Sundays.

Up Trains - Summer 1949 Destination Down trains - Summer 1949 Destination
6.43am Oswestry 8.12am Chester General
9.28am Oswestry 8.39am Chester General
12.14pm Gobowen 9.57am Chester General
1.16pm Bala 11.14am Wrexham General
3.53pm Bala 1.12pm (Saturdays Only) Wrexham General
4.18pm Gobowen 2.48pm Chester General
5.02pm Llangollen 4.45pm Wrexham General
5.49pm Gobowen 6.56pm Wrexham General
6.33pm Barmouth 9.32pm Wrexham General
8.05pm Gobowen    
9.29pm (Saturdays Excepted) Bala    
9.54pm (Saturdays Only) Bala    
10.42pm Oswestry    

The BR[WR] timetable for the period 15 September 1958 to 14 June 1959 showed eight up but only two down trains Monday-to-Saturday.

On 12 September 1960 BR[WR]) closed Wynnville Halt along with a number of other stations between Shrewsbury and Chester. It was demolished shortly after leaving only the concrete steps on the down side to show it had existed. On 31 August 1964 Garrden Lodge Junction was removed when the last section of the Ponkey branch closed.

The line remained a busy trunk route until the mid 1960s when many main line services were diverted to other routes or ceased to run. By the late 1970s it had become a shadow of its former self with only an hourly DMU service in each direction.

Following a period of passenger growth in the first decade of the twenty-first century the line was once again handling main line traffic.

Tickets from Michael Stewart and route map by Alan Young

Sources:

  • A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain - Volume II North & Mid Wales - Peter E Baughan - David & Charles 1980.
  • Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies - Christopher Awdry - Guild Publishing 1990.
  • Paddington to the Mersey - Dr R. Preston Hendry & R. Powell Hendry - Oxford Publishing Company 1992.
  • Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain - A Chronology - Michael Quick - Railway & Canal Historical Society 2009.
  • Shrewsbury to Chester - Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith - Middleton Press 2010.

To see the other stations on the Shrewsbury - Chester General line click on the station name: Shrewsbury S&C, Leaton, Oldwoods Halt, Baschurch,
Stanwardine Halt
,
Haughton Halt, Rednal & West Felton,
Whittington Low Level, Weston Rhyn, Trehowell Halt, Llangollen Road, Whitehurst Halt, Rhosymedre,
Cefn, Rhosymedre Halt, Rhos,
Johnstown & Hafod
, Rhosrobin Halt, Gresford,
Rossett, Pulford,
Balderton
and Saltney


Wynnville Halt looking south from the down platform in 1961.
Copyright photo from Stations UK and Middleton Press




The site of Wynnville Halt indicated on a six-inch map from 1949. Interestingly although the halt had opened in 1934 and was still open when the map was published it is not shown.

Wynnville Halt indicated by the blue arrow on a 1:25,000 scale map from 1956. The word 'Halt' is shown to the left of the Ponkey branch which suggests that it was on that line. The Ponkey branch diverged from the main line just to the south of Wynnville Halt at Gardden Lodge Junction. It had opened on 1 August 1868 and extended for 1¾ miles to furnaces at Ponkey. It was extended northwards on 27 August 1876 to Legacy and on 5 June 1905 when it was connected to the GWR Rhos branch. Although passenger services did run on the ponkey branch they never extended as far as Wynnville.


Wynnville Halt shown on a 1:2,500 scale map from 1960.


The site of Wynnville Halt looking north in 1974.
Photo by John Mann

Looking north-east towards the site of Wynnville Halt on 6 April 2012. The steps that had led to the down platform can be seen behind the fence. Click here to see a close up view of the steps in 1974.
P
hoto by Paul Wright

A view looking north towards Wynnville Halt on 6 April 2012. The entrance to the up platform was between the bridge and the privet hedge.
P
hoto by Paul Wright

 

 

 

[Source: Paul Wright]




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