Rail solution is electric

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Regarding your front page article re overcrowding on Calder Valley trains (October 23 ) the main problem is a that as Northern Rail have improved services and increased the number of trains they have increased demand and passenger numbers creating overcowded trains.

They are reaching full capacity with outated rail stock. They cannot put on more trains as they are using second hand diesel trains that are slow. They cannot buy new trains as nobody makes them. The only solution is to electrify the line and put on newer quicker electric stock, which will no doubt increase demand and passenger number further.

Electrification would also help considerably reduce N02 polution levels in the Calder Valley which are at such high levels that Calderdale Council face being fined £1 million per day by the European Commision.

So not only would electricficaion help improve the rail link between the valley and conurbations of Leeds, Manchester and Capital of Culture City’s of Liverpool and Hull, but it would improve our health. Air polution causes 29,000 early deaths a year in the UK.

What we need is a few million pounds investment to electrify and improve our rail line now to reuduce deaths by air poluton and improve conectivity between the main northern citys, rather than spending billions of pounds digging up the countryside to take a few minutes off the journey from London to Birminghan with HS2.

Alex Rudkin,