Rhos fights for it’s own railway

In 1893 a group of Rhos businessmen formed a consor­tium to run their own railway to connect the village with Wrex­ham.

A series of public meetings were held in Wrexham and Rhos with the support of Sir G. 0. Morgan, MP for the division, and Mr Geo T. Kenyon, member of Denbigh Boroughs, who incidentally was a director of the Ellesmere Railway.

Traders in Rhos and Wrexham had already promised the promoters strong financial support. They felt that it was most impor­tant to be able to communicate directly with Merseyside and the North Wales Coast and by means of the Ellesmere line, which was nearing completion, to the Midlands and South Wales. Cost of the project would be about £50,000.

Mr Edward Hooson, who said he was prepared to take shares in the new company, said that Rhos peo­ple were being held to ransome by the GWR. They had to pay to get their goods to Ruabon and then a further charge for bringing their goods to Rhos by road. They were determined to break that monopoly.

The GWR already had a purely mineral railway from Trefor Canal Wharf, behind Rhos via Brook Street to Copi Brickworks and thence to LIwynenion and some forty years previously they had had a goods station along this line.

Petition after petition had been submitted to them for better rail facilities, but to no avail. Things would not improve unless they had their own railway.

Sir G. O. Osborne Morgan said he knew of no other area in the country as thickly populated as Rhos which did not have a good rail link. The population was 7,000 with an additional 3,000 in Penycae. The railway was essen­tial if the mineral resources of Rhos and district were to be fully exploited.

The Wrexham terminus of the proposed railway would be at the Mold and Connah’s Quay Central Station and from there it would pass under the GWR track at Cobden Mills to The College near Bersham and cross the village over a short viaduct to Bersham Colliery, on to Rhostyllen and Legacy to a terminus in the centre of Rhos.

Among traders who would be known to many of the older generation of Rhos people sup­porting the project were Hezikiah Jones, J. Connard, Benjamin Williams and Thomas Sauvage. Llewelyn Kenrick, for many years coroner for East Denbighshire was secretary.

But when the GWR Company heard of the Rhos project – dubb­ed the East Denbighshire Railway Bill – they came up with a Bill of their own. But, it was pointed out, the Wrexham terminus would be inconvenient for shoppers and would be half a mile out of town (the present General Station).

However, when the East Den­bighshire Bill came before a Select Committee of the House of Lords in April 1894, it was thrown out in favour of the GWR Bill. This verdict resulted in a protest meeting being held in Rhos, attended by over a 1,000 people, when it was decided to send a peti­tion to Parliament praying that the GWR Bill be thrown out on its second reading. Wrexham Town Council supported this petitition.

Although this was successful, the GWR succeeded with a later Bill and the line was opened on October 1, 1901. This ran along the main Shrewsbury line to Felin Puleston where it branched off for Rhostyllen and Legacy and ended up at a station situated just behind Bethlehem Chapel. It was later extended to Brook Street and Wynn Hall for passenger traf­fic. This closed in the late 1920’s. From Legacy a branch line was laid to Ponciau, but this track was taken up during the 1914-18 war.

Source: Llangollen Advertiser.

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