Calder Valley Line is excluded from electrification list

Halifax Railway Station.
Halifax Railway Station.

Rail campaigners have written to the Transport Secretary urging him to include the Calder Valley Line in a planned electrification scheme.

The Halifax and District Rail Action Group has backed up its case with statistics which Hadrag claims are compelling reasons for electrification.

The Government recently announced a joint taskforce to look at further electrification schemes in the north of England and the omission of the Calder Valley Line has baffled Hadrag.

Chairman Stephen Waring said: “It is astonishing that our line has been omitted from the list and we want the Secretary of State for Transport (Patrick McLoughlin) to correct this omission at the earliest opportunity in the New Year.”

Using data from the Office of Rail Regulation’s station usage statistics, Hadrag wrote to Mr McLoughlin saying the Calder Valley Line had at least as good a case for electrification as some of the other lines on the DfT’s list. They include: the Harrogate line; Middlesbrough; Selby-Hull; Sheffield-Manchester/Leeds/Doncaster; Crewe/Warrington-Chester.

At the same time, the DfT specifically approved electrification of Wigan-Bolton, having already given the go-ahead to trans-Pennine electrification via Huddersfield from Manchester to York and Selby.

Hadrag argues that electrification of the strategic Calder Valley line from Leeds to Manchester via Bradford and via Brighouse, along with the link from Hebden Bridge through east Lancashire to Preston and Blackpool is a natural, logical, common-sense follow-on to the Huddersfield route.

It said the line should be included in terms of the characteristics of the route and in terms of passenger figures and forecast growth.

“The CVL is an inter-urban route serving the Calderdale and Rochdale districts each of which has a population greater than York and Preston,” Hadrag told Mr McLoughlin.