YP Letters: Double decker trains could ease problems – and negate the need for HS2

Are double decker trains a viable alternative to HS2?
Are double decker trains a viable alternative to HS2?
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From: Marilla Clayton, Avenue Hill, Leeds.

I AM writing to suggest that double decker trains would be the answer to some of the UK’s transport problems.

I believe HS2 is not the answer as the main problem concerns capacity rather than speed.

All the Yorkshire roads and motorways being closed or diverted for HS2

In France and Germany, double decker trains have already been in operation for many years. I think factors to be considered regarding demand for rail transport in the future include increases in the UK population and future rises in tourism.

I believe research should be carried out to see where the introduction of double decker trains would be feasible and cost effective in the UK.

Quite a few years ago on a holiday in Germany, as I waited on Cologne station for a train to Dusseldorf, I noticed that the track was set quite low down from the platform.

The reason for this became clear when a smartly streamlined double decker train arrived. When the doors opened, you could either step down a few steps to the lower deck or up some steps to the upper deck. As it was my first time on a double decker train, I took the opportunity of sitting on the upper deck. The train was pretty full, yet with on-one standing as far as I remember.

There was a pleasant atmosphere and it seemed most of the passengers were going to a football match in Dusseldorf. I’ve also heard that there are double decker trains in France. When I’ve mentioned to friends about the possibility of introducing double decker trains on to existing tracks, they have wondered what would happen when it comes to overhead obstructions such as bridges, but I feel structural engineers must be able to find ways of coming up with solutions where necessary.

Considering the escalating costs of HS2, I think cost benefit analysis should be carried out. Savings on demolition costs would be a considerable factor. Practical solutions are needed rather than vanity projects.

Bird brain in waiting room

From: LA Pickering, St Hugh’s Drive, North Hykeham, Lincoln.

I READ the item about the learning abilities of crows and jackdaws (The Yorkshire Post, October 25) on an early evening train from Manchester to Sheffield.

I then had quite a long wait on Sheffield station for a train to Lincoln and spent much of the time in the glass waiting room with automatic sliding doors, between platforms two and five.

During this time, I noticed that a pigeon had got in and assumed it had done so opportunistically when the doors had opened for a passenger to enter. I watched it and it seemed to go quite systematically up and down the rows of seats picking up crumbs and other bits of food dropped by people while sitting there eating.

At one point, it fluttered up on to a seat where there was a fairly substantial piece of what looked like cake, and quickly devoured it. I assumed that, once it realised there was no more food to be had, it would find itself trapped in the room, there to be found perhaps by overnight cleaners who would have difficulty evicting it.

How wrong I was! Having decided it was time to move on, the bird approached the double sliding doors squarely in the middle, the sensor above it picked up the movement, the doors opened and out it went!

Clearly it knew exactly what it was doing, from its systematic circuit of the seats looking for food to its opening of the door to get out. I wonder if it is part of the bird’s daily routine. It certainly lifted my opinion of the mental abilities of pigeons.

Why we need tidal barrier

From: John Goodman, Grove Close, Beverley.

YOU report that rising sea levels could hit 1.5 million homes (The Yorkshire Post, October 26).

A radical rethink is required. The present policy of raising more than 200km of flood banks around the Humber Estuary to protect against a tidal surge is unsatisfactory. It is hugely expensive with ever-increasing maintenance costs.

A tidal barrier across the mouth of the Humber guarantees tidal surge protection. It could also include a hydro-electric scheme. The huge freshwater lake created would have tremendous recreational opportunities.

The Humber is said to be the second most dangerous navigable river in the world. Deep navigational channels along the length of the lake would make it totally safe.

Some of the spoil from the cutting of the channel could be used to create a strip of land between the lake and the city of Hull, along which could go a much-needed major road.

Open letter on a closed pub

From: Chris Skidmore, Witham Court, Higham, Barnsley.

AN open letter to Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery: despite being a patron and ‘regular’ of the Engineers’ Arms, Higham, Barnsley, for many years, it appears that my patronage and custom are of little consequence to your organisation.

If I and any of the other “regulars” who used to patronise your establishment were valued in any shape or form, you would not have shut the public house in the manner that you have done.

Why could you not even warn the clientele of the impending closure and what, if any, future plans were intended? You purport to support ‘‘pub games’’ yet where are the ‘‘pub teams’’ now supposed to play?

Old enough to be responsible

From: Mrs Ann Francis, Sissons Lane, Middleton, Leeds.

IT’S about time the law was changed. A seven-year-old knows right from wrong. If not, there’s something wrong at home.