Imagine your Calder Valley train pauses briefly in a new Bradford station, no longer reverses there as they do now, but runs high-speed Bradford-Leeds. Halifax-Leeds could be under 20 minutes.
In its submission last summer to the National Infrastructure Commission, West Yorkshire Combined Authority called for the Leeds-Bradford section of Northern Powerhouse Rail to be brought forward, with a new central Bradford station serving both NPR and Calder Valley. WYCA also prioritised Calder Valley electrification.
NIC’s final report seems to offer Government (who will decide) the choice of either the eastern (Leeds) arm of HS2 or a focus on regional enhancements. NPR Leeds-Bradford-Manchester is shown in a regional package with a “+50%” budget. At “+25%” NPR high speed is lost but Leeds-Bradford is upgraded and the Huddersfield route gets “some new line”. Packages delivering HS2 east kill regional new lines. All packages propose HS2 west through to Manchester (continuing to Leeds if NPR is built).
NIC wants the plan to contribute to net-zero: “The Integrated Rail Plan should include a rolling programme of electrification to help decarbonise the railways…” and “help deliver industry efficiencies… ”(p66). As we keep saying.
HADRAG has also said if a new Leeds-Bradford-Manchester line comes through Calderdale, then Calderdale should have a station on it. A straight, mainly tunnelled route Bradford-Manchester could go underneath Halifax! Where would it cross the Calder Valley? Tunnel or viaduct? Without their own station, would local people be happy? – JSW
See also: Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North: Final report – NIC
Featured Image: “Azuma Offord Cluny” flickr photo by kitmasterbloke https://flickr.com/photos/kitmasterbloke/49259604572 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license