Line should be considered for electrification

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From: Nina Smith, Railway Issues Lead, UCVR Sustainable Transport Group, Bank Terrace, Hebden Bridge.

the Upper Calder Valley Renaissance Sustainable Transport Group agrees with Metro chairman James Lewis (Yorkshire Post, December 14) that the Calder Valley line between Leeds and Manchester Victoria via Bradford should 
be included in the list of 
railway routes that are to be examined for possible electrification by the new Government task force.

It is essential that this also includes the line through Brighouse that connects the Huddersfield Line with the Halifax route.

There are three important reasons why.

1. This is one of the busiest lines in the region, with usage growing significantly year-on-year. Hebden Bridge, for example, has an official footfall of more than three quarters of a million, having doubled in less than 10 years.

2. The expectation is that after the completion of the Castlefield Curve, trains will run through the Calder Valley to Manchester Airport. One of the four hourly trains on the Calder Valley line runs through to Selby, which is on the electrification list. Clearly, it makes little sense to continue to have to use diesel trains on such services.

3. It is necessary to use the Calder Valley line, usually via Brighouse, for diverting Huddersfield Line Trans-Pennine Express (TPE) trains when that route is closed for engineering or other reasons. This will not be possible once the TPE services use electric trains if the Calder Valley route isn’t electrified.

Finally, we would also like consideration to be given to electrifying the route between Todmorden and Preston to fill what will become an increasingly untenable gap in the electrified railway.