Low Moor, opening soon, also needs more trains

A Manchester-bound Calder Valley Line train makes haste past the building site that will be Low Moor station. Work on the right-hand (Bradford-bound) platform has advanced significantly since this July scene and the station should now open by May next year. Construction was delayed by the discovery of underground features that old plans failed to show — a former mineshaft requiring piling and a concrete cap. After that set-back it was considered prudent to carry out additional surveys in case of any more nasty surprises.

In terms of design quality, the latest new halts are a significant advance on earlier examples (of which Bramley and Walsden come to mind). Note lift shaft awaiting its partner and footbridge over the lines. Yes, the latest lifts are considered reliable enough for an unstaffed station! Recently opened Kirkstall Forge (see panel on next page) in the Aire Valley gives some idea of current style, though the roofed footbridge may be a luxury beyond what is to be lavished on Low Moor.

Still-to-be-finished Low Moor already has a keen “Friends” group (FOLMS) that meets regularly.

Like Kirkstall Forge, Low Moor will open with a basic service of just one local train an hour. It will be the Leeds-Bradford-Halifax-Huddersfield trains that stop, plus Grand Central’s London expresses four times a day each way. Situated in a well-populated part of south Bradford with major employers including the BASF chemical works, the station surely deserves better, with obvious park & ride potential. West Yorkshire Combined Authority wants ways explored of providing the half-hourly service that should be the norm. Along with our colleagues in FOLMS, we wait to see whether Northern will stop more trains at Low Moor at the key December 2017 timetable change. Failing that, as HADRAG argues for Sowerby Bridge, the 2019 timetable could be a good time to get more trains stopping, when an extra train every hour from Bradford to Manchester will link through to the Manchester International Airport.

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