Legacy station took its name from a short-lived colliery which had closed in 1875, more than quarter of a century before the station opened. No settlement bore this name, and on Ordnance Survey maps ‘Legacy’ appeared only as the name of the station. Not even the colliery, only ever shown as abandoned, was named: it was merely indicated as ‘Old Shafts’. Serving a sparsely populated area, this station is also interesting in that it was to act as a junction; its date of opening is uncertain; and there is inconsistency concerning whether or not it was a ‘halt’.
An internal Great Western Railway (GWR) notice circulated to staff announced the opening of the Rhos branch on 1 October 1901 but the 1904 Railway Clearing House (RCH) Handbook of stations lists it as being able to handle general goods and horses, but there is no mention of passengers. Legacy was one of three (the others being Rhostyllen and Rhos) situated on the 3¾-mile single track GWR Rhos Branch which ran from Rhos Junction, approximately 50 chains to the east of Rhostyllen station on the Shrewsbury and Chester main line, to Rhosllanerchrugog (shortened by the GWR to Rhos). At Rhos the branch made an end-on connection with the Pontcysyllte Branch.
Situated in an isolated location to the north of Talwrn, and just east of the Bronwylfa Road level crossing, the station was a short distance east of the junction where the Legacy Branch joined the Rhos Branch. The existence of the junction is probably the reason why the GWR located Legacy station where they did. The station actually stood on the northernmost section of the Legacy Branch which had opened on 27 August 1876 to serve Legacy Colliery – closed the previous year after only five years of use. When the Rhos branch was constructed this short section of the Legacy branch was adopted to form its course.
The station was provided with a single platform on the north side of the line. A modest single-storey brick building housed the usual facilities and a GWR ‘pagoda’ waiting shelter was also provided. There was a passing loop at Legacy and a siding with loading ramp.
At the time of opening there was a small ground-level signal box with a 9-lever NK-Type frame. It was replaced in 1905 with a GWR Type 28 (all wood) box with a 23-lever NK-Type frame. The 1905 box was located west of the station, adjacent to the level crossing.
From 1 October 1901 a passenger service operated between Wrexham General and Rhos and although, as noted above, the station was not listed by the RCH in 1904 as handling passenger traffic, Quick cites a minute from the RCH Goods Managers that tantalizingly refers to Legacy as a ‘drop station for passengers’. There were four passenger trains a day each way, with two extra services on Thursday and Saturday. Two goods trains also ran daily and would definitely have served Legacy. No trains ran on the line on Sunday.
To counter competition from a local tramway operator the GWR introduced a rail-motor service onto the Rhos branch on 1 May 1905. Three new halts were opened on the Pontcysyllte Branch (south of Rhos) and the passenger service was extended to the southernmost of them, Wynn Hall Halt. From 5 June 1905 three more halts were opened on the Legacy/Ponkey branch and services began operating between Ponkey Crossing Halt and Wrexham General. With the introduction of the rail-motor service there is no doubt regarding the status of Legacy station in terms of handling passengers as it is listed in the timetables.
The November 1906 timetable showed Legacy as having 16 trains to Wrexham General on Monday-to-Friday and 17 on Saturday. There were also 16 trains in the opposite direction on Monday-to-Friday but on Saturday there were 18. Of the 16 Monday-to-Friday southbound trains 12 were advertised as going to Ponkey Crossing Halt, 10 to Wynn Hall Halt and two to Rhos. The disparity is due to a number of the southbound services operating both to Ponkey Crossing Halt and Wynn Hall Halt. This could have been achieved by running two rail-motors in tandem and splitting them at Legacy or by the running of a shuttle between Legacy and Ponkey Crossing Halt. As there was only one platform at Legacy the former seems to be the more likely.
In 1912 motor-bus services were introduced to the surrounding area and they successfully competed with the rail-motor service. On 22 March 1915, with revenue dwindling, the passenger services between Rhos and Wynn Hall Halt and between Legacy and Ponkey Crossing Halt were withdrawn and the halts were all closed. Passenger services reverted to operating only between Rhos and Wrexham General; Legacy, no longer a passenger junction, continued to be served. The withdrawal of the service to Ponkey Crossing Halt meant that the northern section of the Legacy Branch had no purpose. It closed between Legacy and the site of Aberderfyn Halt and the track was lifted in 1917, except for a short stub at Legacy that became a siding.
The July 1922 timetable showed that Legacy had 13 trains in each direction on Monday-to-Friday with an extra four trains each way on Saturday. This was a generous level of service for a station in such an isolated location.
On 1 January 1931 the passenger service between Rhos and Wrexham was withdrawn.
The goods siding at Legacy continued to be used. The station became part of British Railways on 1 January 1948 and the 1956RCH Handbook of stations listed it as being able to handle general goods, parcels and miscellaneous traffic. A siding serving the Central Electricity Generating Board was also listed.
The signal box closed in 1952 and the line was closed to all traffic by British Railways on 14 October 1963. Track-lifting on the branch commenced in July 1964.
Tickets from Michael Stewart and route map by Alan Young
CLICK HERE TO SEE AN OS MAP SHOWING THE PASSENGER RAILWAYS OF THE WREXHAM AREA AT THEIR GREATEST EXTENT
CLICK HERE FOR A DETAILED HISTORY OF LEGACY STATION
- Awdry, C British railway companies (Guild Publishing,1990)
- Bodlander, A; Hambley, M; Leadbetter, H; Southern, D and Weatherley, S. Wrexham railways (Bridge Books, 1992)
- Bodlander, A; Hambley, M; Leadbetter, H; Southern, D and Weatherley, S. Wrexham railways vol.2 (Bridge Books, 1993)
- Bodlander, A; Hambley, M; Leadbetter, H; Southern, D and Weatherley, S. Marcher railways: the railways of Wrexham and Oswestry - a photographic journey (Bridge Books, 2008)
- Clinker, C R Clinker’s register of closed passenger stations and goods depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830-1977 (Avon-Anglia,1978)
- Cobb, M H The Railways of Great Britain – vol.1 (Third Edition) (Author, 2015)
- Quick, Michael Railway passenger stations in Great Britain - a chronology (RCHS, 2009 and on-line supplements)
To see the
other stations on the Rhos Branch click on the station name:
Rhostyllen, Rhos, Brook Street Halt, Pant Halt and Wynn Hall Halt
See also: Fennant Road Halt and, Aberderfyn Halt and Ponkey Crossing Halt
from the Legacy/Ponkey branch
Click here to see Register of Closed Railways 1901 - 1994