Rail campaigners to hold meeting in Brighouse

HADRAG, the Halifax and District Rail Action Group, will hold its first in-person meeting since the start of the Covid pandemic on Saturday.

By Tom Scargill
Monday, 20th June 2022, 9:22 am

The meeting takes place in the community hall at St John’s Church, St John Street, Rastrick, Brighouse. Doors open 12.30pm for a prompt 12.40 start and the whole meeting will finish by 2.30pm.

The meeting is open to all rail users – actual and would-be – and others who want to see improved sustainable transport for the post-pandemic world.

Guest speaker at 1pm will be Karen Hornby, recently appointed officer for the new Calder Valley Community Rail Partnership (CRP). Karen, a former head of performance and customer relations at Network Rail, will talk about how the CRP will move forward promoting the whole line through Calderdale and Rochdale districts working with local businesses, and community groups such as schools and colleges.

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Passengers at Halifax train station

The CRP seeks to complement and support, not replace, successful existing station “friends” and “partnership” groups along the line, whilst building new whole line activity and identity.

The meeting will also hear calls from HADRAG for a better deal for stations such as Brighouse along with Sowerby Bridge and the future station at Elland. HADRAG wants to see these communities benefit from increased train frequencies in the future. Matching stations further up the valley that serve similar populations.

Stephen Waring, Chair of HADRAG, said: “HADRAG welcomes formation of a CRP for our line crossing the Pennines. The CRP should build links with business and community groups all along the line between West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

“Existing station groups such as those at Brighouse, Sowerby Bridge and Mytholmroyd have been doing a superb job working with local partners to enhance their stations with floral and historical displays. That fantastic work will continue. Meanwhile the CRP will take initiatives that unite the whole line and the communities surrounding it, making more people want to travel to, from and through our district by rail.

Stephen Waring

“Ideas could include walking and canal guides, themed historical guides. We hope the profile of the whole Calder Valley rail route will be raised by building wider links with the community. Not long ago Amazing Women by Rail was launched across the Mid-Cheshire and Calder Valley lines. We hope to see more whole-line initiatives that incentivise people to use our railway.

“We’ll will also be discussing the need to improve services at stations like Brighouse, Sowerby Bridge and in the future Elland, to match provision at stations further along the valley. HADRAG wants our line through Halifax and Calder Valley to serve the whole community.

“So we want people to come to our meeting. There will be time to visit Brighouse Charity Gala afterwards, so come to Brighouse and enjoy an afternoon out!”

St John's Church in Rastrick