Why not add carriages rather than electrify the line?

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From: TE Marston, Cambridge Street, Otley.

YOU report that the TransPennine route is to be electrified (Yorkshire Post, November 30) and then say it is only Manchester to Leeds (or York).

Now TransPennine is a railway franchise and brand name, an excellent one which provides a co-ordinated number of routes which serve all the major towns and cities of the north of England, it runs a fleet of excellent diesel units of higher power ratio, speed and accommodation including a first class section maintained at a state-of-the-art depot in Manchester. The section from Leeds to Manchester is the backbone of the system, so why break its back to force passengers onto a redundant London suburban unit for a section of their journey which would happen if the customers were west of Manchester or east of Leeds?

Another point is that the journey proposed has seven miles in tunnels which rules out the modern 254KV AC overhead collection and would meet the “southern” third-rail current collection unless London could spare some dual voltage units to work on both systems. These would be London-type coaches with cramped seating and seats that are not opposite windows.

In my opinion, the only problem is that this service has become the victim of its popularity with an issue of overcrowding, so just add some more coaches to the existing train! As the Americans say: “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.

I don’t mind reporting a good idea when there is one; the new Apperley Bridge station, good catchment area and handy for Leeds, Bradford and the airport.

From: Tony Dunlop, Harwill Avenue, Churwell, Leeds.

REGARDING the loss of 50p pensioner off-peak rail fares, it has recently been reported that the West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority is scrapping the concession as it battles to make £9m savings to its budget. The concessions cost £1.1m per year, according to Metro.

At best this is wooden dollar accounting as the cost is only realised if the 50p tickets are bought.

If our services are based upon such shoddy accounting practices, it is easy to see why they are in such a mess.

Perhaps we could make greater savings by removing some of those financial experts who think up these schemes.

So not only will there be no real money savings from this action, there will be a loss of revenue – from the loss of the 50p tickets as pensioner stay at home – and so probably a further round of real money savings will be required.

The effect will be quite simple – trains will run with empty seats (which still have to be funded) and there will be empty seats in the coffee shops of places like Hebden Bridge who will simply lose the trade from the missing pensioners.