Goodbye Wrexham & Shropshire

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Wrexham Town Centre

Wrexham Town Centre

In just under 5 hours the last ever service by the Wrexham & Shropshire railway will leave London’s Marylebone station on its final journey. Why get so concerned by a train service you might ask. After all, Virgin Trains run a direct service down to London even if it is only once a day.
The concern is because this little railway achieved so much in its short 3 year life. The satisfaction ratings given to it by passengers were better than anything ever seen since the ratings began. At 99% you can’t really get any better. And I doubt whether other train lines will. The service was good too. The staff would come through the train, address and treat you politely and then be there when you got off to thank you for travelling (at least on the few times I travelled with them.) And that’s part of the problem. I used them a few times; how often did others?
The owners, Deutsche Bahn have closed the railway because it was losing money. Too few passengers were cited as the reason. The recession was another. They got the service spot-on. And it took day trippers to a lovely part of the world where it was a short hop you see Pontcysyllte Viaduct, Chirk Castle or the second most popular stately home in the country, Erddig. Imagine how many travellers would have used it the summer to go to the National Eisteddfod which is being held in the town? Last week, Wrexham began its year of culture with over 300 events. How many people would have travelled by the W & C because of their prices? Could anything have been done? Cheaper engines and rolling stock? An agreement to stop at larger stations and pick up more passengers? Certainly Virgin’s contract effectively cut Wolverhampton out of their possible revenue sources.
For the day tripper and the visitor, the W & S provided a reasonably priced way to get to North Wales. You started your break with good staff service so you were in the right frame of mind. Compare that to Virgin Trains. It also means that another element of competition is removed in a rail industry where most routes are monopolies. All that remains is a single web page with a he red label announcing that the railway will cease. And a final sentence of thanks to passengers. Fares are higher as a result of the withdrawl of the service. The cheapest fare I could find two months from now was £73.50 or £78 if I wanted a decent time in the town. Compare that to the £40 I paid last time with just a few weeks notice.
Will this near doubling ot the fare deter day trippers and those wanting a short break? Yes Will Wrexham and the area suffer? Yes

image courtesy of Wrexham County Borough Council

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , ,