Calderdale’s 60ft rail masts

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NETWORK Rail is about to begin installing telecommunication transmitters beside the tracks at 13 locations across Calderdale in a bid to improve safety.

The masts, up to 60ft tall, only face towards the railway lines and will not host any other transmitting equipment.

Work is due to begin at Shelf Road, Hebden Bridge, on July 2.

Network Rail said: “Railway staff in Britain currently have to use a mixture of five or more systems to communicate. The newest was built in the 1970s and the oldest in the 1860s.

“The Railway Communications System means drivers and signallers can effectively ‘talk’ to each other immediately no matter where they are.”

Existing systems don’t work in tunnels or cuttings and drivers often find themselves forced to get out of their cab to use a lineside telephone, exposing themselves and others to danger. It can mean delays and poor passenger information.

“RCS will cover every public rail line and when selecting a site for masts we take great care to evaluate the locality and community issues, as well as choosing a site which meets our operational requirements.”

“The need to provide 100 per cent coverage is paramount. The Railway Communications System is safety-critical and gaps in the coverage are unacceptable.”

Masts are to be put up at Charlestown, Hebden Bridge; near Todmorden Station; Walsden Station, Todmorden; at Cornholme, Todmorden; at Knotts Road, Todmorden; Brearley, Mytholmroyd; near Sowerby Bridge Station; Elland Tunnel; near Halifax Station; at Hipperholme, Brighouse and Calder Works, Halifax.