Electrifying discussions on railway benefits

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From: Reg French, Secretary, Selby Rail Users.

I READ with interest the column by Paul Salveson (Yorkshire Post, January 18), and the questions he raises were also an agenda item at our meeting last Thursday evening.

Both the Yorkshire and Humber Network Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) and Electrification RUS provide much information to support electrification continuing from Micklefield junction to Selby and Hull, and also the route from Selby to Temple Hirst junction.

There is also much to commend electrifying the short stretch from Hambleton West junction to the East Coast Main Line to provide a diversionary route for trains between Leeds and King’s Cross.

The option as referred to in the Electrification RUS is a high ranking option and its socio-economic benefits have also been examined. These conclude that the elecrification as identified produces a positive financial case. Continuing use of expensive and complex elecrification equipment makes sense as well.

It may be that (but I hope not) the DfT and the Government find that financial resources would not be available to complete electrification as far as Hull at the time that electrification to York is completed.

However, there would be a strong financial and economic case, in view of the issues identified, for the infilling to the East Coast Main Line and also to ensure that the additional trans-Pennine service could have electric traction and serve South Milford and Selby.

It would also be possible for some electric services from West and South Yorkshire being able to continue to Selby to relieve the congested Leeds Station area.