Tram-train scheme could link Bradford's two railway stations

RAIL LINKS: Forster Square Station

RAIL LINKS: Forster Square Station

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , City Hall Reporter

A LONG-AWAITED link between Bradford's two railway stations could be made a reality if a plan for a new 'tram-train' in Bradford takes off.

The idea of linking the city's two stations has been around for more than 100 years but no scheme has ever come to fruition.

Now it has emerged that a plan to introduce a tram-train line between Bradford and the Leeds-Bradford airport could involve a link-up between Forster Square and the Interchange.

Tram-train systems are a form of light rail which can run along both tramlines set into roads and railway lines shared with conventional trains.

A proposal to build such a link from Bradford city centre to the airport, with a possible extension down to the business parks off the M606 motorway, was revealed earlier this month as part of a £15 billion transport plan for the north.

The One North report, written by five northern cities, called for major investment in the north's transport systems to create an economic powerhouse to rival London.

It received a warm welcome from Chancellor George Osborne, who promised to "commit new money, new infrastructure, new transport and new science".

Councillor Val Slater, executive member for transport at Bradford Council, said while there was "no hope" of constructing a heavy rail link between the two stations, it could be possible to connect them as part of this tram-train plan.

She said: "There is no hope of doing heavy rail because it would mean we would need viaducts and all sorts of things.

"A business case for that was made a number of years ago and was shown not to be viable."

But a pressure group has asked the Department for Transport to look again at the idea of creating a conventional rail link between the two stations, as it prepares to award franchises for two major local rail services.

The Department for Transport is holding a consultation into the new Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine franchises, which are due to be awarded late next year, to start in February 2016.

Responding to the consultation, the Upper Calder Valley Renaissance (UCVR) Sustainable Transport Group has called for the city's two stations to finally get the link-up they need.

Its secretary, Nina Smith, said while a light-rail link was "better than nothing", they still wanted to see a proper line installed between the two stations, possibly by digging a tunnel.

She said: "It is quite ridiculous that in 2014, there is still a short gap between the two railway lines in central Bradford.

"The Bradford district urgently needs regeneration, and better connectivity is one of the necessary components of this.

"Joining up the two railway lines will open up a host of new direct travel opportunities.

A spokesman for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which runs transport body Metro, said: "Members of the Upper Calder Valley Renaissance Sustainable Transport Group will have been pleased to see that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority has welcomed the recently-published One North report, which includes calls for a better cross-city links."

Comments (15)

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8:28am Thu 14 Aug 14

mad matt says...

If this scheme had been properly investigated a few years ago, a new station could have been included on the first floor of the Westfield development, replacing Forster Square station and the Interchange station.
I think that it's too late now to do anything about a heavy rail connection.
A metre gauge street tramway could still be a possibility because this could include tighter curves to allow construction along existing roads without the demolition of any city centre buildings. This could be extended to the M606 business park but is that really necessary?
If this scheme had been properly investigated a few years ago, a new station could have been included on the first floor of the Westfield development, replacing Forster Square station and the Interchange station. I think that it's too late now to do anything about a heavy rail connection. A metre gauge street tramway could still be a possibility because this could include tighter curves to allow construction along existing roads without the demolition of any city centre buildings. This could be extended to the M606 business park but is that really necessary? mad matt
  • Score: 6

10:06am Thu 14 Aug 14

BD16 says...

"Joining up the two railway lines will open up a host of new direct travel opportunities."

From where to where?
"Joining up the two railway lines will open up a host of new direct travel opportunities." From where to where? BD16
  • Score: 12

10:54am Thu 14 Aug 14

Albion. says...

It sounds quite good, especially if it includes the airport.
It sounds quite good, especially if it includes the airport. Albion.
  • Score: 7

11:13am Thu 14 Aug 14

RomeoTango says...

Heck, a minority of the motoring public in Bradford can't cope with cars, bikes or busses never mind a tram or light rail scheme.
Heck, a minority of the motoring public in Bradford can't cope with cars, bikes or busses never mind a tram or light rail scheme. RomeoTango
  • Score: 5

12:31pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Count Jim Moriarty says...

BD16 wrote:
"Joining up the two railway lines will open up a host of new direct travel opportunities."

From where to where?
Obvious if you think about it for 10 seconds rather than posting a pointless whinge.
[quote][p][bold]BD16[/bold] wrote: "Joining up the two railway lines will open up a host of new direct travel opportunities." From where to where?[/p][/quote]Obvious if you think about it for 10 seconds rather than posting a pointless whinge. Count Jim Moriarty
  • Score: 8

12:39pm Thu 14 Aug 14

WayneRouke says...

'She said: "It is quite ridiculous that in 2014, there is still a short gap between the two railway lines in central Bradford."'

Thats because there is a very LARGE gap between the ears of Bradford Councillors.
'She said: "It is quite ridiculous that in 2014, there is still a short gap between the two railway lines in central Bradford."' Thats because there is a very LARGE gap between the ears of Bradford Councillors. WayneRouke
  • Score: 13

1:17pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Yorkshire Lass says...

Why?
A free bus is already available at the Bradford Interchange for this purpose. What is the point?
Why? A free bus is already available at the Bradford Interchange for this purpose. What is the point? Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 6

2:40pm Thu 14 Aug 14

BD16 says...

Count Jim Moriarty wrote:
BD16 wrote:
"Joining up the two railway lines will open up a host of new direct travel opportunities."

From where to where?
Obvious if you think about it for 10 seconds rather than posting a pointless whinge.
The only thing pointless, and incredibly expensive, would be a cross town rail link.

But if you're so smart, enlighten me with where these trains will run. What new and dynamic routes would be opened up that would justify such cost?
[quote][p][bold]Count Jim Moriarty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BD16[/bold] wrote: "Joining up the two railway lines will open up a host of new direct travel opportunities." From where to where?[/p][/quote]Obvious if you think about it for 10 seconds rather than posting a pointless whinge.[/p][/quote]The only thing pointless, and incredibly expensive, would be a cross town rail link. But if you're so smart, enlighten me with where these trains will run. What new and dynamic routes would be opened up that would justify such cost? BD16
  • Score: 3

3:46pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Denedweller says...

Manchester's Metrolink is a useful model of this type of scheme. Originally designed to link Victoria and Piccadilly stations it incorporated two local lines one to Bury and another to Altrincham converted to light rail with street running in Manchester centre. Since the original line was constructed the network has expanded again using a mixture of local lines and street running.
Manchester's Metrolink is a useful model of this type of scheme. Originally designed to link Victoria and Piccadilly stations it incorporated two local lines one to Bury and another to Altrincham converted to light rail with street running in Manchester centre. Since the original line was constructed the network has expanded again using a mixture of local lines and street running. Denedweller
  • Score: 9

4:30pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Joedavid says...

Interesting photo showing the lift tower at Forster Square station which links two levels, when I go to use that it is always not working, if this light rail link is built will that too break down a lot and take ages to repair?
Interesting photo showing the lift tower at Forster Square station which links two levels, when I go to use that it is always not working, if this light rail link is built will that too break down a lot and take ages to repair? Joedavid
  • Score: 11

6:37pm Thu 14 Aug 14

llos25 says...

Another pipe dream.
Another pipe dream. llos25
  • Score: 6

8:09am Fri 15 Aug 14

johnh1 says...

llos25 wrote:
Another pipe dream.
LOL
[quote][p][bold]llos25[/bold] wrote: Another pipe dream.[/p][/quote]LOL johnh1
  • Score: 0

9:41am Fri 15 Aug 14

allannicho says...

"I have a dream"
"I have a dream" allannicho
  • Score: 1

3:33pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Lynessman says...

what about a monorail similar to what you find at Airports or even a cable car ???
what about a monorail similar to what you find at Airports or even a cable car ??? Lynessman
  • Score: 0

5:29pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Out of site says...

Why not use donkeys and camels to link the two.
Why not use donkeys and camels to link the two. Out of site
  • Score: 1

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