Ruabon rail station

Ruabon rail station

This was once a busy junction station, where passengers could interchange between two railways.

The station opened in 1848, when the Shrewsbury & Chester Railway opened. In 1862 passenger trains began travelling over the Vale of Llangollen Railway’s new line between Ruabon and Llangollen, later extended to Corwen, Dolgellau and Morfa Mawddach, near Barmouth. The trains diverged from the main line 1km south of Ruabon station.

Both lines became part of the Great Western Railway, but connections at Ruabon weren’t always ideal! In 1899 Llangollen traders and residents petitioned the GWR to insert a Ruabon stop in the schedule of a lunchtime express so that passengers from Llangollen would no longer have to wait 45 minutes for a connection to Chester, Liverpool and Manchester. On the way back, there was a wait of over two hours in the evening for the Llangollen train.

The station building, erected in the 1860s, is listed but has lost the canopy which extended across the platform. The GWR enlarged the facilities in 1882.

In 1871 two GWR porters at Ruabon station each admitted stealing a pound of butter, in transit from Bala, from the GWR’s warehouse at the site. They were sentenced to two months’ gaol with hard labour.

In 1873 an employee called William Lloyd was painting point rods beside the track when he saw a train approach. Assuming it was going to Shrewbsury, he continued his work but was fatally struck because the train took the Llangollen line.

A young GWR employee, William Wright, was killed in 1886 while snowballing with another youth on the tracks at Ruabon. He was running beneath wagons in a siding when a locomotive moved them.

In 1903 GWR guard William Humphrey, 63, fell between the rails while his goods train was shunting near Ruabon station. The train’s 11 wagons passed clean over him, but he was struck by the steam locomotive’s ashpan and died of his injuries at Wrexham Infirmary.

In 1915 police offered a £10 reward for information on two men seen boarding the 5.47pm train to London at Ruabon station. The men matched descriptions of two German prisoners of war who had escaped from a camp in Denbigh. They had to travel together because one knew no English. The other, fluent in English, was an aviator who had been rescued from the North Sea.

The railway to Llangollen closed to passengers in 1965. Since 2005, Ruabon has been served by Arriva Trains Wales’ hourly services from Holyhead to Shrewsbury, continuing in alternate hours to Cardiff and Birmingham. Buses from the station forecourt provide onward travel to Llangollen.

Postcode: LL14 6DL    View Location Map