HADRAG meeting Sat 26 Nov in Halifax to look at creating better rail service along Calder Valley. Call for better deal: a reliable service with gaps filled. After broken promise over Manchester Airport trains we want service doubling at Sowerby Bridge, Brighouse and upcoming Elland stations. Possibilities include services through Wakefield to York, decent links from upper Calderdale to Huddersfield: “not everybody want to go to Leeds!”

LATEST report by HADRAG, the Halifax & District Rail Action Group, calls for an action plan to develop the route with better services, decent frequencies at Sowerby Bridge and Brighouse and an equally good deal for the new station now planned to open at Elland in 2025.

The meeting is on Saturday afternoon 26 November, and is open to all local rail users and others who want to see a better rail deal for Halifax and the Calder Valley line.

Busy Brighouse!
Station has about half the number of trains it needs.

Venue is the Oddfellows room, ground floor at 3 Coleridge St, Halifax HX1 2JF, starting at 2.30 pm (tea, coffee etc from 2pm). Directions to venue below.

Speaker will be Councillor Colin Hutchinson, who is a Calderdale council representative on West Yorkshire’s Combined Authority’s Transport Committee. Councillor Hutchinson will talk about WYCA’s rail strategy and join the Q&A discussion.

HADRAG’s has produced its own paper setting out ambitions for the Calder Valley line. No. 1 is a more reliable service. Then easy things like gaps in service at Sowerby Bridge and Mytholmroyd need to be sorted out – Mytholmroyd has no trains to Manchester on Sundays. HADRAG quotes figures showing Sowerby Bridge serves a population equal to that of Hebden Bridge and Todmorden combined – but has about half the number of trains. All trains that stop at the main upper valley stations should also stop at Sowerby Bridge, say the campaigners. The same is true of Brighouse and the planned station at Elland.

Elland is now due to open in 2025.

Brighouse and future Elland have just one train an hour on two routes. HADRAG calls for a business case based on population served and housing development, to double that frequency, to have better connections between upper Calderdale and Huddersfield, and maybe open up a new route from Calderdale through Wakefield and Castleford to York. Not everybody wants to go to Leeds! And a lower-valley service would also benefit Wakefield which has poor rail links towards and across the Pennines.

Bradford and Calderdale were let down by the broken promise of regular trains to Manchester Airport serving workplaces, hospitals, universities and leisure attractions on the south side of the city. HADRAG says better services via the Brighouse route could link up to Manchester Piccadilly station.

We shall also be restating the case for CV line electrification (www.electriccharter.wordpress.com).

Read HADRAG’s paper in our box below.

And come to our meeting on Saturday. Doors open 2pm for 2.30 start. The Oddfellows room is on corner of Coleridge St, just off Prescott Street below Skircoat Road (A629 towards Huddersfield) in Halifax – 5 minutes’ walk from Halifax town centre. All welcome: see you there!

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