die belebende Bedenkung

Behind the idea

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Momentum is gathering behind the idea of including Bradford on a high-speed line between Manchester and Leeds, according to the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has commissioned Arup to investigate the options.

[‘Plans to transform Bradford Forster Square station remain on track’, Claire Wilde, T&A, 6 Feb 2017]

The T&A has found out that the possible options being explored include:

* A through line for Bradford city centre for the first time in its history;

* Bringing the high-speed line underneath the existing city, using tunnels, cuttings, or both;

* A new underground high-speed platform built beneath Bradford Interchange;

* Possible pedestrian subways linking this to Bradford Forster Square station.

[…] The feasibility study will be fed back to working group Transport for the North (TfN) which has been given £60 million of Government funding to draw up proposals for a high-speed link between Leeds and Manchester, which is now called Northern Powerhouse Rail.

If the government cannot fund the electrification of the Selby to Hull railway, what are the chances of a new ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’ line being built between Manchester and Leeds, via Bradford?

Bradford, OpenStreetMap

Before the construction of the Broadway development, there would have been the possibility of an affordable heavy rail link across Bradford city centre. However, the council and Integrated Transport Authority, failed to protect an alignment.

Bradford's Forster Square and Exchange stations (1947)

In 1947 Bradford’s Forster Square and Exchange stations were closer together than they are now

Written by beleben

February 7, 2017 at 12:37 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Indeed – of the gradient from Bowling had been maintained under the former Exchange Station site the alignment was practically perfect for the slot already in place where the Hall Ings underpass ran, and a reserved space runs/ran down past the Midland Hotel – that short link would have revolutionised rail services, potentially providing a massive increase in train utilisation as Manchester trains could cut 5-15 minutes from the journey times.

    Above all Bradford could get a single more centrally located through station to replace

    The Grand Central London services need no longer have time spent standing at Bradford, with the options of running through via Shipley to Leeds, or running to Skipton, or even Carlisle/Scotland.

    The Leeds-Skipton/Ilkley services would be able to run via Pudsey or via Apperley Bridge, making it possible to have closures for line maintenance of either route, without major disruptions.

    Idle train time, which must amount to a substantial figure for the frequent services to both stations would potentially release 1-2 trains, or create opportunities to use the trains more effectively Leeds-Bradford services would loop through Bradford and the ability to get a train to Leeds passing through Bradford in either direction offers a neat way to increase the service frequency from a single station, or reduce the trains ‘from’ Bradford requiring train paths in to Leeds City Station – all unlocking resources and capacity but at a lower cost and faster than HS2/3/4…..

    Perhaps the trains can still run through the voids under the new development nothing is totally impossible, given the clear signal from HS2 that money will simply be poured in to placing a railway over and under ground which any sane project would avoid for the geological nightmares and resulting costs deliver. It seemed to be lunacy that the opportunity to deliver a major development with direct access to a railway station with fast and frequent trains to many regional centres was wasted – and not even provided for by leaving a void space (or gap in the curtain walls/piles under the development).


    February 8, 2017 at 12:11 am

  2. I showed a Bradford through-station in my supplementary submission to the Hollick-led Lords investigation into the economic case for HS2 two years back. Bradford would then be a main through-stop on a cross-Pennine Northern Cities Crossrail:

    Michael Wand

    February 8, 2017 at 6:34 pm

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