Northern Powerhouse Rail should come before HS2 – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: James Bovington, Church Grove, Horsforth, Leeds.

The future of rail services in Leeds is again in the spotlight.
The future of rail services in Leeds is again in the spotlight.

IT is good news that the new HS3 line via Bradford might not go ahead with investment funds to be concentrated on a major upgrade including full electrification of the existing line via Huddersfied, a town geographically well situated to be a rail hub.

However a new electrified line needs to be constructed from Low Moor to Huddersfield with a parkway station west of Cleckheaton to serve Spen Valley. This resurrects the former Yorkshire and Lancashire railway.

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Peter Neal is correct (The Yorkshire Post, June 19) that HS2 is a vanity project with available funds better spent on electrification of the existing network – such as the Cleethorpes line – coupled with enhanced frequencies. Tom Fallon is also spot on calling for more and longer trains Ilkley to Leeds

The future of rail services in Leeds is again in the spotlight.

John Pennington rightly explained that major rail investment through Bradford is best done via a ‘CrossRail’ linking lines north and south. There were several Bradford ‘CrossRail’ schemes last century. Parliamentary powers to construct might still exist.

A four kilometres central tunnel with underground stations at Forster Square and City Hall would allow trains from Skipton to reach Manchester directly via Low Moor and Huddersfield.

A new Bradford city centre station could be located between Mill Lane and Ripley Street. A better location than the poorly accessible Wholesale Market site as it would allow direct access from the north.

HS2 is planned to approach Manchester in tunnel and the Piccadilly HS2/3 station would be best sited underground. The Trans-Britain Railway Plan would link HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) with
an underground station in Leeds so that the new lines are developed as a single joined up project.

A rail chord south of York would also allow fast trains to use HS2 tracks so that the Cross Gates line becomes high frequency city Metro.

And why shouldn’t Leeds have an underground network like those that serve our competitor sister cities of Newcastle, Liverpool and Britain’s best provincial city Glasgow?

Emulate Stuttgart of similar size but with 15 miles of tunnel and 22 underground stations. It’s all about making Leeds the rail hub of the North easily accessible with frequent services from its catchment area of three million people. Where’s the ambition for Leeds?

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