Boost for Calderdale commuters as new trains set to run on Calder Valley line

Passengers at Halifax train station
Passengers at Halifax train station

New trains will finally be running on the Calder Valley line before the end of the month.

The line will also see some refurbished units come on stream offering better quality services to Calderdale travellers, members of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Transport Working Party were told.

Peter Myers, Stakeholder Manager for Northern, said long-promised new trains bought by Northern would be appearing in the Calder Valley line on October 21.

“We’re going to see the first of our new trains operating regularly between Leeds and Chester on the Calder Valley line,” he said.

“Then through December we will see Blackpool and York replacement trains.”

Additional new class 195 diesel trains would also be operated by Northern on routes serving Sheffield and Leeds, said Mr Myers, who explained that manufacturing problems had led to delays before some of them were able to be put in service.

“But they are coming in and by Easter 2020 they will all be operational and be seen regularly on the Calder Valley line,” said Mr Myers.

The new trains would be supplemented by some of the “best of the rest” units Northern owned, which were being fully refurbished and put into service into next year.

Three-car diesel units would be the order of the day for new units, he said.

Coun Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf) asked if the refurbished units would also have three cars and was told this was the plan, though there would still be some services which only had two cars. Mr Myers said Northern would try to ensure peak time services had three carriages.

Stephen Waring of Halifax and District Action Group (HADRAG) said the “best of the rest” were good trains although it was disappointing the line was not getting class 170s previously operational in Scotland and which had initially been promised as refurbished they would be nearly as good as the new trains.

He also said by adding a different single car to some two-car units to make the three would have some affect on speed and acceleration.

Mr Myers said the refurbished 170 trains would be used on routes between Scarborough and Sheffield as they were more appropriate for that fast route.