A image of Rhos station taken from a newspaper article in 1929. The event was the departure of Miss Mattie Griffiths from Rhos station on her way to America to marry Mr Daniel Jones. Mr Jones had left Rhos because of the unemployment situation and he had obtained work in the Ford factory at Detroit.
A railway had reached the site of Rhos station by January 1867. The line was an extension of the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) single-track Pontcysyllte Branch from Wynn Hall to the Llwyneinion Brick Works just north of Rhos. The OS 6-inch scale map published in 1879 shows that the Pontcysyllte Branch was connected to numerous local industries including collieries, brick works, clay works and an iron works and it was a successful revenue earner for the LNWR. Being completely isolated from the LNWR system the branch was at first worked by a locomotive owned by the New British Iron Company but in December 1870 an 0-4-0 locomotive of the LNWR arrived from Crewe. From the late 1870s there was industrial decline in the area and the Pontcysyllte Branch became a less attractive proposition for the LNWR.
The Great Western Railway (GWR) was the dominant railway company in the area: its Shrewsbury and Chester main line was located only a mile to the east of Rhos and had connections into the Vale of Llangollen including lines that linked to the industries around Pontcysyllte. However in the mid-1890s the residents of Rhos, frustrated at not having a direct rail connection to the town, formed the East Denbighshire Railway (EDR) so that they could build their own line. This spurred the GWR in to action and in 1896 they purchased the Pontcysyllte Branch from the LNWR for £51,000. On 6 August 1897 the GWR obtained an Act to build a 3¾-mile single-track line from their Shrewsbury and Chester railway (at what became Rhos Junction) to an end-on connection with the Pontcysyllte Branch at Rhos. The line opened in 1901 and passenger services were introduced on 1 October 1901.
The passenger station at Rhos was situated on a section of line that had been the Pontcysyllte Branch; the new line connected to the original alignment north of the station site. The station was located on the west side of town at the end of School Street.
The station had only a single platform located on the east side of the line. The station building containing the usual passenger facilities was of a standard GWR design seen at many of its stations which were opened or improved circa 1900. The structure was of red brick with paler brick quoins beneath a hipped slate roof. A canopy extended along the full length of the building and full width of the platform; it was asymmetrically ridged in profile with a saw-tooth, pierced valance. This feature, too, was the standard for GWR stations of the time. At the southern end of the platform was an iron water tower for replenishing locomotives.
Opposite the platform at the southern end of the station was a signal box: a GWR 7B (BRICK) type equipped with a GWR STUD 18-lever frame. The box controlled a run-round loop and access to a siding that ran into the Rhoslannerchrugog Brick Works, just west of the passenger station.
Also controlled by the signal box was the access to the Rhos station goods facilities about 14 chains south of the passenger station at Brook Street. The goods facilities included two sidings, on the east side of the line; a brick-built goods shed; a weighing machine; and a 1-ton lifting crane. The 1904 RCH Handbook of stations listed Rhos as being able to handle parcels, general goods and horses.
At the time of their introduction passenger services would have operated between Wrexham General and Rhos calling at the intermediate stations of Rhostyllen and Legacy.
In 1905 the GWR upgraded the line between Rhos and Wynn Hall for passenger operation and on 1 May 1905 a rail-motor service was introduced which extended southwards from Rhos to a new halt at Wynn Hall. Halts were also provided at Brook Street (on the west side of the line opposite the Rhos station goods facilities) and at Pant. A signal box was also opened at Brook Street to control the level crossing: a timber ground-level box fitted with a 7-lever NK-type frame.
The GWR timetable of November 1906 (click here to see it) showed 12 services to and from Wrexham General on Monday-to-Friday, ten of which either originated at or continued to Wynn Hall Halt. The journey time to Wrexham General was 15 minutes. This was a generous level of service for those times.
In the early part of the second decade of the twentieth century motor-buses arrived in the Rhos area. They could reach all of the small hamlets and settlements and had a severe impact on railway passenger receipts. On 22 March 1915 the GWR withdrew the rail-motor service from the halts south of Rhos and closed them completely. Services reverted to running between Wrexham General and Rhos.
The July 1922 timetable showed 13 Monday-to-Friday passenger services in each direction between Rhos and Wrexham General with four extra services each way on Saturday; no services ran on Sunday. The signal box at Brook Street closed on 31 May 1927.
The motor-bus services continued to affect the GWR adversely and on 1 January 1931 the company withdrew the Rhos – Wrexham passenger train service. Rhos station closed to regular passenger services but continued to see passenger use in the form of Saturday football specials for Wrexham Football Club home games, and these continued until the early 1950s.
In 1945 the National Eisteddfod of Wales was held at Rhos between 6 and 12 August. During the event special trains operated to and from Rhos station.
On 6 September 1952 the Stephenson Locomotive Society (SLS), North West Area, and Manchester Locomotive Society, ‘Denbighshire Rail Tour’ visited Rhos station. During that year the station signal box was closed which probably brought an end to the football specials as the line would have been downgraded to goods status. In 1953 the Pontcysyllte Branch closed completely between Pant and Pontcysyllte.
The 1956 RCH Handbook of stations listed Rhos as being able to handle general goods and parcels; the station still had its 1-ton lifting crane. It is not known if parcels were handled at the former passenger station building or at the Brook Street goods shed. The brick works siding is still listed, but as the Edwards J C (Ruabon) Ltd, Copy Brick Works.
On 6 September 1952 the Stephenson Locomotive Society (SLS), North West Area, and Manchester Locomotive Society, ‘Denbighshire Rail Tour’ visited Rhos station. During that year the station signal box was closed which probably brought an end to the football specials as the line would have been downgraded to goods status. The SLS ‘Wrexham and District Rail Tour’ called at Rhos on 18 April 1959, continuing to the site of Pant Halt - since 1953 the furthest extent of the line. This was probably the last-ever passenger working to Rhos.
On 14 October 1963 Rhos station closed completely and goods traffic on the branch ceased. Track-lifting began in July 1964 and the passenger station buildings were probably demolished around that time, if not a little earlier.