Wrexham & Shropshire - Wrexham & Shropshire Services/Wrexham & Shropshire Route - B
Wrexham & Shropshire - B
Wrexham & Shropshire Services
Wrexham & Shropshire Route
From Wrexham General services ran via Ruabon, Chirk, Gobowen, Shrewsbury, Wellington, Telford Central, Cosford and Wolverhampton to Tame Bridge Parkway. From here services would proceed to Banbury and London Marylebone either via Stechford, Birmingham International and Coventry, or via Birmingham New Street and Solihull.
Because of a Moderation of Competition clause inserted into Virgin Trains' Track Access Contract with Network Rail by the government, Wrexham & Shropshire were not able to service a number of West Coast Main Line stations. Wrexham & Shropshire's Track Access Contract did not allow it to call at Birmingham New Street or Coventry, although the contract did allow it to call at Wolverhampton and Birmingham International to pick up only on northbound services and set down only on southbound services, although Wrexham & Shropshire elected not to serve the latter.
Likewise to protect Chiltern Railways from revenue abstraction (even though both entities were owned by the same parent company, DB Regio), northbound services could only pick up and southbound services set down at Banbury. From December 2009, the Banbury restrictions were lifted and services also called at Leamington Spa. The Leamington Spa stops were removed in May 2010, after the Department for Transport found that revenue had been abstracted from Chiltern Railways.
Wrexham & Shropshire Diversionary Routes
During weekend engineering works, Wrexham & Shropshire services were frequently diverted. When the Wrexham to Shrewsbury line was closed services operated from Wrexham General to Shrewsbury via Chester and Crewe. When the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton line was closed services reversed at Shrewsbury before reversing again at Crewe and proceeding via Stafford to Wolverhampton. When the line south of Birmingham was closed, services operated via the West Coast Main Line, Willesden Junction, Acton Junction and Ealing Broadway to South Ruislip before reversing to reach Marylebone. When the South Ruislip to Marylebone line was closed services would be diverted to London Paddington.
Wrexham & Shropshire Timetable
Wrexham & Shropshire's initial timetable was for five trains per weekday between Wrexham and London with a journey time of approximately four hours and 15 minutes. This timetable had been formulated several years prior to the service's launch, largely by planners at John Liang.
In March 2009, the weekday service was reduced to four trains per day with one cut back to only operate from London to Shrewsbury, Wrexham & Shropshire citing the wider economic downturn for the cancelled services. From July until September 2010, a fourth Saturday service was operated. In December 2010, the weekday service was reduced further to three per day, with insufficient customer demand being cited as the reason.
Wrexham & Shropshire Rival Services
In February 2008, Virgin Trains announced that its intention to operate a direct service between Wrexham General and Euston on a trial basis from December 2008, with a morning southbound and evening northbound service. Virgin's service operated from Wrexham General via Chester and Crewe to London Euston along the West Coast Main Line using Class 221 Super Voyagers, with a journey time of approximately two and a half hours, compared with Wrexham & Shropshire's average of four hours. As this was an extension of a Chester - Euston service, it did not serve stations in Shropshire or the West Midlands.
Arriva Trains Wales lodged an application with the Office of Rail Regulation to operate two daily trains from Aberystwyth to London Marylebone. The application was rejected in February 2010 because the Office of Rail Regulation was concerned about the financial viability of the service. DB Regio had stated that if the application was successful that it would cease funding Wrexham & Shropshire and operations would cease.
Wrexham & Shropshire Overview
Wrexham & Shropshire Franchise(s): Open access operator
Wrexham & Shropshire Route Map
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