Plans to improve Calder Valley rail line

Passengers at Halifax train station
Passengers at Halifax train station

Work is under way to improve the Calder Valley rail line - described as one of the “poorest performing” in the country.

The Calder Valley Line links Leeds and Manchester via Bradford and Halifax, but clogged routes and slow-moving trains have led to multiple calls for the line to be upgraded.

Work is now under way to extend platforms at Bradford Interchange, and along with other planned improvements the changes are expected to lead to a reduction in the journey time Bradford Interchange and Manchester Victoria of three minutes.

The works are among the various transport projects in Bradford that will be discussed at a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The works at the Interchange will see platforms three and four extended, and began yesterday. Network Rail and Northern Rail are carrying out the works in readiness for newer and longer trains which will call at the station. To minimise disruption to passengers, the work is being carried out overnight. The upgrade works are due to be completed in early December.

The platform extensions come shortly after signal improvement works at the station over the weekend.

A report to the Combined Authority’s Bradford District Consultation Sub Committee said: “There should be immediate benefits from completion of this project in terms of the reliability of the line, as there will be greater flexibility to recover from delays. This is important because the line of often one of the poorest for performance in West Yorkshire. The works will also facilitate the planned increase in services on the Calder Valley line from December 2019, as well as the ability to better space out the mix of fast and stopping trains.”

The committee will also discuss the impact of timetables. The changes caused hundreds of services across the country to be cancelled.