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The Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay Railway (WMCQR) was incorporated on 7 August 1862 to build a line from Wrexham to Buckley.
The Buckley Railway had already been incorporated on 14 June 1860 to build a 5-mile line from that town to a junction with the London and North Western Railway Chester-Holyhead main line at Connah's Quay in order to link collieries and brickworks in the area with a point of shipment on the River Dee. The Buckley Railway was opened in 1864 as a freight-carrying line, and was worked by horses.
The WMCQR line - 12.5 miles (20km) in length - opened as a single line with short branches from Buckley to a point near the Great Western Railway station at Wrexham; it also had a connection with the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) at Hope. The WMCQR took over the Buckley Railway from 30 June 1873. Several other extensions of the railway were authorised in 1864 and 1865: these never materialised.
On 1 November 1887 the Railway extended into the Wrexham Central station. On 31 March 1890 a further line was opened by the WMCQR: the "Buckley Loop" also connected with the LNWR, and ran through Hawarden. At the same time the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (MSLR) began the construction of a line from Chester to join the WMCQR at Hawarden Bridge Junction over the River Dee: this necessitated building the Hawarden Swing Bridge over the river.
By an Act of 1885 the Wirral Railway obtained powers to build a line from Bidston to join the MSLR at Hawarden Bridge; in the event the construction was taken over by a joint committee (known as the North Wales and Liverpool Railway Committee). The line - 14.25 miles (23km) - was opened on 18 May 1896: the following year the WMCQR went into receivership, and the line was bought by the Great Central Railway, as the MSLR had now become: the joint committee was dissolved in 1904.
The principal promoters of the WMCQR were Henry Robertson, of Banff, Scotland and Benjamin Piercy, of Montgomeryshire. Robert Piercy, Benjamin's elder brother, was appointed Resident Engineer to the railway in 1866.