A service to Bidston at Wrexham Central.
The line now curves sharply to the right to arrive at WREXHAM GENERAL . When it was a separate station it was known as Wrexham Exchange. The single platform is operated as part of the adjacent General station which has recently been attractively refurbished. The booking office at General station is able to supply the full range of rail travel facilities. Services today are run by Arriva Trains Wales. Trains run from General station to destinations including Shrewsbury, Birmingham, Cardiff, Chester and Holyhead.
150251 at Platform 4 of Wrexham General station on a Bidston service.
The Borderlands line now becomes double track and on the left hand side Rhosddu locomotive depot used to stand. The line parallels the ex GWR route to Chester for about a mile and then curves to the left under the Wrexham By Pass. After about another mile it is just possible to make out, on the left, where the triangular junction of the WM&CQR line to Brymbo once was.
Gwersyllt looking towards Wrexham. The dip in the track is where the North Wales Mineral Railway formerly crossed over.
A Pacer unit on the Cegidog Viaduct near Cefn y Bedd in 1993. The train is in Greater Manchester livery
After leaving Gwersyllt the train passes under the Mold - Wrexham main road and head towards the first summit on the line near what was once the site of Ffrwrd Junction, now hidden in trees on the left. From here a branch line rose steeply to what was once an extensive complex of collieries, brickworks and an iron works. There are very few traces left of this today. The line now heads down through Sydallt and crosses over the viaduct carrying the line over the River Cegidog. The viaduct is of five stone arches and is one of the route's most impressive architectural features. CEFN-Y-BEDD follows almost immediately. This station still retains most of its original buildings although those on the Bidston platform are in private ownership. This station also serves the village of Abermorddu.
150251 at Cefn y Bedd on a Wrexham service, access between the platforms is via a foot crossing
The Wrexham side shelter at Caergwrle is seen in 'LNER livery' in April 2008
PENYFFORDD is the next station stop. The station here is given added importance because it also possesses a signal box, the only one between Wrexham and Dee Marsh. The signal box is at the end of the Bidston platform. Just beyond the signal box on the left can be seen the now weed infested connection to the Chester - Mold - Denbigh line. The passenger service from Chester was withdrawn in 1962 but this connection was retained to provide access to Mold. The freight service to the Synthite Company, the last user of the line, finished in 1981 and the track has now been removed. The sidings now terminate after a couple of hundred yards.
Winter at Penyffordd. 142049 on a Wrexham service in 1998
A Wrexham service calls at Buckley
An ex Strathclyde unit, 101694, calls at Hawarden August 2000
SHOTTON is one of the most important stations on the line and has now been rebuilt with new station buildings. The booking office is open from 07.30 to 10.30 Monday to Friday and on Saturdays from 08.45 to 13.45. There is also the important connection to the North Wales coast line. The station is situated right in the centre of the town and the Ice Rink at Queensferry is easily accessible. Leaving Shotton the train passes over the North Wales coast main line, shortly beyond there was once a connection on the left leading to extensive sidings and the docks at Connahs Quay.
At Shotton the line crosses over the North Wales coast main line. On the lower level 47525 is heading for Holyhead on an Inter City train, March 1990.
A Virgin class 57 is seen hauling a Pendolino set on a Euston service in February 2009.
The wings for the new European jumbo jet, the Airbus A380, travel by a specially constructed barge between Broughton and Mostyn. The wings are destined for France and are loaded onto a deep sea ship in Mostyn for Bordeaux. The barge 'Afon Dyfrdwy' is seen here on the River Dee with the railway bridge, road bridge and steel works in the background.
The Class 108's were the DMU's that replaced steam in 1958 and they remained in use on the line until withdrawal in 1993. Here Longsight set No. LO615 comes off the bridge and into Hawarden Bridge station on the 13th of November 1992.
The large expanse of reclaimed land now on the left was formerly the John Summers blast furnaces. On the right hand side can be seen the massive Deeside Industrial Estate which is still expanding. Shotton Paper mill with its permanent cloud of steam is on the left just before the train passes under the new road bridge. The site of Shotwick sidings, which formerly fed the north of the steelworks complex, is now occupied by just a solitary track leading to the paper mill. Beyond that are Shotwick firing ranges and the Dee estuary marshlands. The line beyond here to Bidston no longer sees any freight traffic apart from occasional engineering and ballast trains. In previous times this section was busy with trains of iron ore from Bidston Dock to Shotwick sidings.
A short sandstone cutting indicates that the train has now crossed the border into England and shortly the train rattles past the closed station of Burton Point. The next stretch onward to Neston is most attractive with the Dee estuary on the left with the Clwydian range rising up beyond. There are tentative plans to open a new station in the vicinity to be known as Ness. This would serve the Gardens of the same name. Neston is now very much a dormitory town for Chester and Liverpool and the train passes numerous new housing estates. Just before reaching NESTON (at one time Neston North) the line crosses over the remains of the Hooton - West Kirby line. The trackbed of this line has been converted into a footpath and cycle way known as the Wirral Way. Neston station has been modernised and all traces of the original station buildings have now been swept away.
After leaving Neston the train passes through a long wooded cutting as it makes its way across the Wirral peninsula. The next station is HESWALL, at one time known as Heswall Hills. Heswall is the first station in the Merseytravel area.
Another stretch of pleasant countryside follows and the remains of Storeton station are passed. Storeton, Hope Exchange and Burton Point are the only stations on the line to have closed in its long history. The onset of the Birkenhead conurbation is marked as the line passes over the M53 motorway and descends into the Wheeler valley. Merseytravel intend to electrify this part of the line and operate it as part of the Merseyrail system. The plans are to open a new station in the vicinity to be known as Prenton and another station - Beechwood - between here and Upton. If this happens trains from Wrexham will terminate at Prenton rather than at Bidston.
A Merseyrail train at Bidston. The Wrexham line can be seen diverging to the left above the rear of the train.
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