Rail watchdog complains to Secretary of State over old trains on the Caldervale Line

A RAIL watchdog has expressed anger that trains first introduced on the Caldervale Line in the 1980s have returned.

The Halifax and District Rail Action Group has written to Secretary of State for Transport Justine Greening saying it is insulted and angry.

Some additional rolling stock was deployed by Northern Rail late last year but less than originally planned by the Department of Transport.

Hadrag said commuters had benefited but not enough had been done to deal with overcrowding.

“Some of the recent additional train carriages are of the earliest Sprinter and Pacer types that ran new on the Caldervale Line in the mid 1980s,” said Hadrag chairman Stephen Waring.

“When new rolling stock is introduced elsewhere, Northern Rail - which means passengers on our line - gets the cast-off units.

“Hadrag members feel it is an insult to our region and it makes people angry.”

Mr Waring said people expected better than old fashioned trains and the letter to the Secretary of State calls for new Class 172 diesel trains used elsewhere and which would transform services for local passengers.

The letter also welcomes the recent announcement of a go-ahead for TransPennine rail electrification and calls for a further extension to cover the Calder Valley routes via Bradford and Brighouse.

“We’ve heard a number of positive announcements about rail development and a lot of hints of improvement for the Cadervale Line and it is time our line received a fair deal and serious investment. It is time for Justine Greening and her officials to take notice,” said Mr Waring.