Thursday, 15 May 2014

Transport: Further delays to Todmorden Curve

The upgrading of the Calder Valley line was delayed again this week following revelations that the reinstatement of the Todmorden Curve has been delayed until at least December.

The development of the 500-yard switchback line will provide direct rail services between Burnley and Manchester, benefitting passengers in Todmorden who will no longer have to change trains at other stations.

The news of the delay comes after tests were carried out on the line in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Although the track is now complete, the Curve won’t be used until at least December because of a shortage in rolling stock.

Labour parliamentary candidate for Calder Valley, Josh Fenton-Glynn, said: “It’s ridiculous that there will be no trains available to run on the line and we’ll keep pushing the Government on it until it’s rectified.”

James Lewis, chair of Metro, told the Annual General Meeting of the Halifax and District Rail Action Group (HADRAG) that it is time that decision-making on projects like the Todmorden Curve should be made locally.

Mr Lewis said: “In the short term we’re going to have the establishment of Rail North - we can do a better job than the Department for Transport.

“Why a civil servant in London makes decisions on local trains doesn’t make sense.

“If you’re a civil servant in London, you have a completely different view to someone travelling on the 1980s diesel train.

“Getting a grip of the railways locally is incredibly important,” he said.

Linda Riordan, Labour MP for Halifax, said: “It is yet another example of our local line being treated like a Cinderella service.

“What passengers want to see is investment, extra capacity and quicker journey times - instead we get old carriages, slow journeys and dither and delay on new projects.

“It is really not good enough and Northern Rail, Network Rail and the Government need to get a grip.
“Passengers using the Calder Valley line deserve better than this.”

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