Valley Loop: Don’t get your hopes up!

WORK on the TransPennine Route Upgrade (TRU), whenever it starts, is going to affect services on the Calder Valley Line. To ease matters, Network Rail plans a loop, westbound, between Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge. The expectation is this will be a static loop, meaning trains will stop in the loop so TransPennine Express trains can overtake. We understand the CV services affected will be the hourly Leeds-Brighouse-Wigan stopper, but the procedure should allow diversion of 3/hr York-Leeds-Manchester fasts via Brighouse and Rochdale. Brighouse  It is not clear when this will start or how lengthy or  regular the diversions will be.

The loop will be east of and separate from the existing Hebden Bridge siding, which will be shortened. We understand the plan is for the new loop to be long enough to accommodate a train of length 163m, which is enough for 2×3-car “158” or “195” units. So let’s not raise our hopes that this will provide extra long-term capacity for lengthy freights to be overtaken by CV trains.

Our info is from the Branch Line Society’s newsletter (BLN1385) last September, so may need updating. “Calls [by the diverted TPEs] at Brighouse or Elland would probably adversely affect performance but this has yet to be determined.” We can only add for now that major remodelling of platforms and new tracks through Huddersfield station seems likely to mean, let’s just say, considerable periods of diversions. Brighouse or better still the new station at Elland could be a good alternative for Huddersfield passengers.