My Yorkshire Crossrail Proposal

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klambert

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Leeds / Yorkshire Crossrail

Outline
Just wondered what the RailUK community would make of my proposal, for what is effectively a Crossrail line for Leeds, in an effort to reduce congestion at Leeds station and to re-organise and revitalise rail services in Yorkshire and the north east in general. I came up with this idea after experiencing for myself the congestion which occurs at Leeds City Station.

I have included a couple maps, including a map giving an idea of the geographical route of the tunnels and one proposing the services that would operate the route.

if anyone has any ideas regarding, station or line reopenings, services or lines or generally would like to have their say on the matter, it would be more than appreciated. Please note I'm not from the area although I do have family from there so I'm reasonably familiar with the place.

The intentions of this project are to; firstly make a suggestion to solve the chronic congestion issues at Leeds Station, by reducing the number of local services terminating at Leeds. To improve the interchange between the bus station and Leeds city station and to regenerate such impoverished areas as Armley, Richmond Hill and Osmondthorpe. Leeds Crossrail would vastly improve the rail services across the North east by directly connecting such destinations as Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford with York, Darlington and Hull as well as provide impetus for the electrification of many mainline and secondary routes and rejuvenating many underused lines. It would also allow the mass replacement of many life expired DMUs

Tunnelled Section

I propose to create a twin bore, deep level mainline sized tunnel, running underneath Central Leeds, in a similar way to the Elizabeth line in London. Starting from the western tunnel portal the route would burrow underground just before Northern Street shortly before reaching the first underground station at Leeds City Station, the next underground station would be underneath York Street to provide an interchange with the Bus Station, as well as being a sort way from Leeds market, Briggate Street and Quarry house, the line would continue Underground beneath Richmond Hill, where an Underground station would be provided, before the route resurfaces on the site of Neville Hill yard, to the south of Neville Hill depot.

I would suggest looking at the route map included above, which gives a better idea of the geographical alignment of the route. I’ve identified two possible routes for the western approaches to the tunnels, route 1 uses the course of the old Leeds Central Station throat, and utilises the existing but disused rail bridge over the River Aire, shortly after crossing the river Aire and Calder navigation, it will begin it's descent into the western tunnel portal, located just before Northern Street. This route though may require the demolition of the existing (and new) Office Block on Northern Street.

Route 2 won’t require any building demolition, except for a small site on Globe Road. Route no.2 will run on new elevated viaducts built on the left hand side of the existing lines at the western end of Leeds station. Trains coming from the Airedale and Wharfedale lines can join the Crossrail route on a simple flat junction just after the Wellington Road Bridge. Trains coming from Manchester, Doncaster, Sheffield and the Caldervale Line, will leave the existing route from a junction shortly after the bridge over the A463, they will then go over a flyover carrying them over the Airedale and Wharfdale Lines and then descend to a junction with the Crossrail lines near Whitehall Road East.

The eastern approach to the Leeds Crossrail tunnels will be a far simpler affair where the lines will leave the existing line and join the Eastern bore on the site of Leeds Neville Hill yard.

Although not indicated on the maps, as they are out of the maps ranges, I propose a number of stations to be built within the Leeds area, I propose a Station at Armley, to create an additional interchange, for passengers wishing to change from the Harrogate Circular, to the AireWharf Lines and a Station to be built at Osmondthorpe, to give passengers another interchange between all lines as well as help to regenerate Osmondthorpe itself.

The Lines


I have identified 5 possible services that would utilise the tunnels and would also solve some of the currently rather disjointed services. Please refer to the map above, please note I have modified the original Northern Rail network map.

Colne Valley Line
This would be the Premier route of the Leeds Crossrail project, linking Manchester, with such destinations as Hull, York and Scarborough, The line incorporates the busiest Transpennine route, aka the Colne Valley route which would need to be electrified and links it with the ECML at York and the Hull and Selby line which would also require electrification. On the network map I’ve also suggested that the Colne Valley line would run to Scarborough via Malton, but should electrification costs prove prohibitive due to low patronage, the services can terminate in York. It may also be worth considering, extending the services to Darlington.

Calder Vale Line:
This route has always been the secondary route between Leeds and Manchester, but due to it serving key destinations such as Bradford interchange and Halifax as well as providing an additional route to Manchester Victoria, I thought it would be worthwhile including. Obviously the Calder Vale line would need to be electrified.

Airewharf Line
This incorporates the Airedale and Wharfedale lines,and would also involve the reopening of the Kippax Branch and the rejuvenation of the Pontefract – Goole Line. Reopening the Kippax branch and sending Leeds trains via that way would solve the issue of Leeds bound trains previously having to reverse at Castleford. The Pontefract – Goole line would need to be double tracked as well as electrified to Hull.

York Vale line
This runs from Doncaster and Sheffield to Darlington. The Sheffield services would run via Wakefield Kirkgate. This line would only require the electrification of the Wakefield – Sheffield line, although should electrification costs prove prohibitive services could only run to Doncaster.

Harrogate Circular
Obviously the Harrogate line would require electrification, this line has been included in the Leeds Crossrail project to try and rejuvenate the line and to make the line easier to use for Leeds and York Bound commuters.
This line would operate two services, both anti clockwise and clockwise, starting and ending at York. In order to regulate the services, trains would need to lay over at York, Although this may mean potential congestion at York, so I’d suggest building a bay platform at a station anywhere on the Harrogate Line,

Rolling Stock

The construction of the tunnels would be similar to those used in the HS1 tunnels under London, allowing the egress of passengers from side doors and meaning the rollingstock will not need a cab end emergency door in the cab.

I suggest using the following rolling stock for the project, new Class 350s for the Colne Valley line as I propose this line to be operated by Tpexpress, this would help to maintain a standardised semi long distance EMU fleet for the TOC. Furthermore, being one of the longest routes of the project, semi long distance rather than suburban EMU types would be required

For all other lines I suggest a fleet of new build EMUs, of either, Class 387s, Class 345s, or Class 700s. I also suggest, that the fleet of Class 333s are retained on the Airewharf lines these could also be supplemented by Class 332s, displaced by the London Crossrail scheme.

Although should building an entirely new fleet of new EMUs prove problematic, a number of older EMU types could be cascaded from elsewhere. Such as Class 319s to be used on the longer distance lines like the Calder Vale and York Vale lines. I would also suggest cascading the Class 321/9s and Class 322s displaced from the Doncaster, Leeds service onto the Harrogate Circular, should additional units be required on the Harrogate circular, displaced TSGN Class 321s could also be utilised.

TOC arrangements
Ideally, I’d like my plan to be encompassed in one integrated nationalised arrangement, but obviously in today’s free market obsessed world, that won’t happen, so instead this is how I propose the franchise arrangements to be. The Transpennine Express franchise would operate the Colne Valley line, and the Northern rail franchise would operate the other lines.

I invite any Railuk members to let me know what they think of my idea as well as offer any suggestions of their own which would be much appreciated.
 
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Bevan Price

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How many ££££££££££ would it cost ?
Who will pay ??

How deep would the tunnel need to be to pass under the river at Leeds station, and what gradients would you need ?
 

klambert

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How many ££££££££££ would it cost ?
Who will pay ??

How deep would the tunnel need to be to pass under the river at Leeds station, and what gradients would you need ?

The tunnel wouldn't pass under the river, the railway would pass over it before burrowing underground, I hope the OP and the maps adequately explain this.

The gradients could be up to a maximum of 1 in 30, as I believe that's the steepest permissible gradient allowed for mainline UK railways. Unfortunately I'm not an accountant so I cannot give an exact figure but it would be cheaper than the current London Crossrail. As for a start the tunnels would be considerably shorter, furthermore I'm not proposing to build a completely new train fleet, more to utilise existing rolling stock alongside new stock, to reduce costs. Furthermore in an effort to reduce costs, not all the proposed lines need to be created, and certain lines such as the Calder vale route, could be run using DMUs, but branded as part of the Yorkshire Crossrail, although of course they wouldn't be allowed to go through the tunnels, and would need to Stop at Leeds City (high level station) instead.

I would suggest funding this through the usual channels, local councils, the DfT etc. If there's enough public and political impetus, these things get built. I mean HS2, the Thameslink upgrade and London Crossrail were once considered pipedreams.
 
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David Emmott

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If Crossrail is a necessary investment (of huge amounts of cash) for London, then something like this (which would be much cheaper) is just as essential for the 'Northern Powerhouse'. Leeds has a fairly minimal rail infrastructure compared to other similar sized cities and it is not overambitious to think in this scale. Though an austerity-obsessed post-Brexit government might think so.
 

quantinghome

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Seems like tunnelling for the sake of it. Why not four track the viaduct east of Leeds? This would allow the same services as proposed, save time for passengers not having to get down/up to underground platforms, and save a huge amount of money.
 

klambert

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Seems like tunnelling for the sake of it. Why not four track the viaduct east of Leeds? This would allow the same services as proposed, save time for passengers not having to get down/up to underground platforms, and save a huge amount of money.

I like the idea, but the issue is that Leeds station itself has capacity problems and would require expansion in order to accommodate the extra services, which would require a lot of demolition of some rather expensive property, which is rather counter-active to my aims and of course brings its own problems. Going underground prevents having to demolish some either very expensive or historical property.

If Crossrail is a necessary investment (of huge amounts of cash) for London, then something like this (which would be much cheaper) is just as essential for the 'Northern Powerhouse'. Leeds has a fairly minimal rail infrastructure compared to other similar sized cities and it is not overambitious to think in this scale. Though an austerity-obsessed post-Brexit government might think so.

Couldn't agree more.
 
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HSTEd

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It probably wouldn't be that expensive.
But there are not enough electrification resources available for 30 years or something.

Bi Modes might be workable but that puts the price through the roof.
 

quantinghome

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I like the idea, but the issue is that Leeds station itself has capacity problems and would require expansion in order to accommodate the extra services, which would require a lot of demolition of some rather expensive property, which is rather counter-active to my aims and of course brings its own problems. Going underground prevents having to demolish some either very expensive or historical property.

To enable four tracking, the properties on the south of the viaduct are pretty non descript tbh. Cost would be lower than the demolitions needed for the HS2 Leeds station. Station capacity would be improved by sending more trains through the station rather than terminating, and the proposed HS2 station will add capacity of course. More platforms can also be added in the location of the present car park. If there are still capacity issues then some form of tram-train option could be used on selected lines to send services through the s streets rather than the station.

Ultimately you need a darn good reason to tunnel. It's very expensive, and inconvenient for passengers in comparison to surface options. There are plenty better options to be exhausted before needing to tunnel.
 

deltic08

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The tunnel wouldn't pass under the river, the railway would pass over it before burrowing underground, I hope the OP and the maps adequately explain this.

The gradients could be up to a maximum of 1 in 30, as I believe that's the steepest permissible gradient allowed for mainline UK railways. Unfortunately I'm not an accountant so I cannot give an exact figure but it would be cheaper than the current London Crossrail, as for a start the tunnels would be considerably shorter, furthermore I'm not proposing to build an entirely new train fleet, more to utilise existing rolling stock, to reduce costs. Furthermore in an effort to reduce costs, not all the proposed lines need to be created, and certain lines such as the Calder vale route, could be run using DMUs, but branded as part of the Yorkshire Crossrail, although of course they wouldn't be allowed to go through the tunnels, and would need to Stop at Leeds City (high level station) instead.

I would suggest funding this through the usual channels, local councils, the DfT etc. If there's enough public and political impetus, these things get built. I mean HS2, the Thameslink upgrade and London Crossrail were once considered pipedreams.

By the time the river is crossed there is insufficient space for a 1 in 30 ramp and be deep enough before the old Midland Railway terminal building is reached.
 
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klambert

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By the time the river is crossed there is insufficient space for a 1 in 30 ramp and be deep enough before the old Midland Railway terminal building is reached.

If you look at route 1 on the map, the river can be avoided entirely. Well apart from going over it on the old Leeds Central viaduct but that won't be too much of an issue.

To enable four tracking, the properties on the south of the viaduct are pretty non descript tbh. Cost would be lower than the demolitions needed for the HS2 Leeds station. Station capacity would be improved by sending more trains through the station rather than terminating, and the proposed HS2 station will add capacity of course. More platforms can also be added in the location of the present car park. If there are still capacity issues then some form of tram-train option could be used on selected lines to send services through the s streets rather than the station.

Ultimately you need a darn good reason to tunnel. It's very expensive, and inconvenient for passengers in comparison to surface options. There are plenty better options to be exhausted before needing to tunnel.

I understand what you're saying and I do think you make a very good point. But I don't think many of the Office owners and Leeds city council in the Sovereign street area would be too happy about the prospect of many new and expensive office blocks being demolished.

Hence my proposal avoids that. If tunnelling was that expensive, HS1 would never have been built in its current form,
By the way I'm certainly not saying tunnelling is cheap, but I don't think it's as expensive as people consider it to be.

It's best to think of my proposal as being a bit like a modern day Merseyrail scheme.

Furthermore your idea, may address the short term capacity issues at Leeds but should traffic continue to grow at it's current rate for the next 10 years, even a re-organised Leeds station would again have capacity problems pretty soon. My idea is more of a long term solution to sort the capacity issues.

The tunnels I'm proposing is effectively an underground bypass of the original line, and I'm sure many road planners will tell you that bypasses are often more effective at increasing an areas traffic capacity than a simple layout re-organisation.
 
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AndyW33

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Two immediate thoughts, neither are insurmountable, but need considering.
Twice this decade the area near your western tunnel portals has been heavily flooded by the River Aire. Flooding and tunnels don't go together well, so you'd need to put some really good flood defences in place before any work could start, significantly better than the Environment Agency or City Council have managed to come up with so far, despite this area being a prime site for office building on brownfield land.
Then there's the eastern portal which is to be in the middle of Neville Hill yard. Now Neville Hill yard is stuffed full of trains each night, a lot of them electric. So a new site for the maintenance depot is needed before any work can start there, and that has to be on an existing electrified route, or one that will be electrified before the tunnel is started. As new fleets of trains appear some of the heavy maintenance load may move elsewhere, but the actual number of trains needing overnight stabling, cleaning, fuelling, retention toilet tank emptying etc will only increase, as well as the amount of siding space required as Pacers are notably shorter than the units that are to replace them.
 
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klambert

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Two immediate thoughts, neither are insurmountable, but need considering.
Twice this decade the area near your western tunnel portals has been heavily flooded by the River Aire. Flooding and tunnels don't go together well, so you'd need to put some really good flood defences in place before any work could start, significantly better than the Environment Agency or City Council have managed to come up with so far, despite this area being a prime site for office building on brownfield land.
Then there's the eastern portal which is to be in the middle of Neville Hill yard. Now Neville Hill yard is stuffed full of trains each night, a lot of them electric. So a new site for the maintenance depot is needed before any work can start there, and that has to be on an existing electrified route, or one that will be electrified before the tunnel is started. As new fleets of trains appear some of the heavy maintenance load may move elsewhere, but the actual number of trains needing overnight stabling, cleaning, fuelling, retention toilet tank emptying etc will only increase, as well as the amount of siding space required as Pacers are notably shorter than the units that are to replace them.

To answer your questions, the flooding issue is one that can also be overcome, as after all much of the London Underground wouldn't have been built should the issue of flooding have been too much of a problem. I would suggest first of all installing flood gates in the tunnels, as is also used by LU, and the Western Portal itself would be protected by high thick concrete walls, which would extend at least 3m above ground level.

The eastern portal itself would be located in the southerly most past of Neville Hill yard, which as I understand is currently used to store redundant wagons and isn't as far as I'm aware electrified or used by Neville Hill TMD, for passenger stock storage.
 
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superkev

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I can't help thinking that east west paralleling existing rail is the wrong choice. The main problem is for people and business north of Leeds Bradford crossing either city so to me a north south would be better.
On the basis that Leeds is relatively booming but Bradford is in desparste need of some help I suggest a tram train solution between the site valley and huddersfield crossing Bradford at street level and utilising the mostly wide roads to huddersfield.
With decent links to the south the aire wharfe valleys would bloom like flowers
kev
 
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NotATrainspott

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Hence my proposal avoids that. If tunnelling was that expensive, HS1 would never have been built in its current form,
By the way I'm certainly not saying tunnelling is cheap, but I don't think it's as expensive as people consider it to be.

HS1 doesn't have stations in tunnels, which are the expensive bit. It's cheap to build plain line tunnel sections as the TBM does most of the work automatically, and then the fit-out works are extremely repetitive afterwards. Building stations is significantly more complicated and expensive, with the only real way to standardise being to have cut-and-cover stations with full surface demolition. Even then, it's really expensive, and can only normally be justified when there's something on the surface nearby that would make lots of people use the station.
 

AndyW33

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To answer your questions, the flooding issue is one that can also be overcome, as after all much of the London Underground wouldn't have been built should the issue of flooding have been too much of a problem. I would suggest first of all installing flood gates in the tunnels, as is also used by LU, and the Western Portal itself would be protected by high thick concrete walls, which would extend at least 3m above ground level.

The Thames is tidal in London, so structures have always been designed on the basis that river levels will change dramatically within a short period. There's double the risk compared to Leeds - extreme high tides or extremely high levels of water coming down the river. The Thames Barrier was the solution for dealing with both events happening at the same time.
In particular, there are no Underground tunnel portals near the river banks - the portals are mostly miles away. Look at where the hinges are on the "flood gates" you can see in Underground tunnels next time you use the system. They were installed to protect against water entering the rest of the system from the tunnels under the river bed, they date back to 1938/39, and it wasn't leakage or floodwater entering through station sites they were worried about then, it was the Luftwaffe dropping bombs into the river bed and blowing holes in the under-river tunnel sections. The station entrances are well above any recorded flood levels.
You can't say the same about the area round Leeds City though, it is only a matter of months ago that the roads underneath the station were flooded again. Of course this doesn't prevent the station from operating, as it is way above river level, or people using the entrances and exits on the City Square side.
 

Bald Rick

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The trouble with underground stations, apart from them being very expensive (£1bn+ each), is that passengers want to get to them from the surface. This means digging at least two big holes from the surface down to the platforms. So you need to find two spaces of at least 2000sqm at surface level for each station to build them. If there isn't spare land - and in city centres there usually isn't - you have to demolish what is on the surface first to make the space.
 

Bantamzen

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Looking at the Western portal of line 2, it starts just before the river dog legs from a north-easterly flow, to a south-easterly one as it passes under the station. Given the existing infrastructure of the station more or less directly across from the river, how would you propose to get the line across / under the river and into earth deep enough to avoid the existing structures under the station and beyond?

To be honest like others I'm struggling to visualise a Leeds Crossrail over a widening of the existing viaduct to the east of Leeds City. Whilst a bore might offer the opportunity to add new stations before Neville Hill, tunnelling under or around the Aire's passage through Leeds would be a difficult ask given the regular flooding and doubtless difficult geology in the area.
 

bluenoxid

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Until trains on the local routes are hitting 8-12 carriages or frequencies of every five minutes any talk of a tunnel is fantasy. There are big plans to develop the south bank of Leeds which may influence traffic demands.
 

mr_jrt

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Aren't TPTB proposing widening the viaduct (and general route east) for a through HS2 station these days?
 

klambert

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Looking at the Western portal of line 2, it starts just before the river dog legs from a north-easterly flow, to a south-easterly one as it passes under the station. Given the existing infrastructure of the station more or less directly across from the river, how would you propose to get the line across / under the river and into earth deep enough to avoid the existing structures under the station and beyond?

To be honest like others I'm struggling to visualise a Leeds Crossrail over a widening of the existing viaduct to the east of Leeds City. Whilst a bore might offer the opportunity to add new stations before Neville Hill, tunnelling under or around the Aire's passage through Leeds would be a difficult ask given the regular flooding and doubtless difficult geology in the area.

Some very valid points made over flooding concerns for the tunnel portals.
I'm tempted to write off route 2, the only reason I proposed it was because it meant, that no property would need to be demolished.

Route 1 would be the more feasible route as it makes an easier negotiation of the River Aire over the existing and currently disused Leeds Central station bridge and it would also mean that the portal would be considerably further away from the river, thus also making any flooding issues, far easier to resolve.

Using route 1 also means that the western Crossrail junction arrangement would be far easier.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Until trains on the local routes are hitting 8-12 carriages or frequencies of every five minutes any talk of a tunnel is fantasy. There are big plans to develop the south bank of Leeds which may influence traffic demands.

I've known the Manchester and Hull services even in the off peak to be very crowded, the transpennine services currently need longer trains and there are plans to electrify the existing Colne and Calder valley lines, my plan is merely an expansion of that idea and to join up existing electrified lines with lines that need electrification and rejuvanation. In fact many services in Yorkshire suffer from over crowding so using 8 - 12 car services in this area is justified.

I think we're concentrating too much on the short term expenses rather than the immense long term benefits of this project.
Please remember this project is about benefiting and expanding the rail services of the north east as a whole, not just for Leeds, helping to make the transport links as good as those in the south. As the Victorians learnt, create railways and the creation of jobs and expansion of the local economy will follow. Yes the short term costs maybe expensive but, I think this project is what the North thoroughly needs, in order to unlock the norths potential in terms of employment and economic growth.

Creating frequencies through the tunnels of every 5 mins, using the system map I've proposed would be perfectly possible, in fact a frequency of every 3 mins is perfectly possible. Imagine each line I've proposed receiving about 4tph in the peak period

4tph multiplied by the overall number of routes, means that the tunnels would get about 20tph, meaning a train potentially every 3 minutes through tunnels in the peak.
 
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JohnB57

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As the Victorians learnt, create railways and the creation of jobs and expansion of the local economy will follow.
That's the fatal flaw in your thinking.

The Victorians didn't have motorways - or even the vehicles that run on them, the telephone, the internet, air transport, etc. The primary rationale behind rail expansion has completely changed since Rocket, from expansion of the economy to preservation of our well-being through modal shift.

Your thoughts are interesting, but we need to find ways of avoiding unnecessary travel whilst making what's necessary more efficient, rather than creating yet more pointless journeys.
 

bluenoxid

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It's a lovely idea but you are spending a lot of money building a parallel railway line on a very expensive axis. You are reinforcing existing transport corridors with a slight nod to one part of the city.

There are a number of options that I would propose that could be created using tram train on new/reused corridors and better links across the city.

East Leeds is the booming area with large industrial and housing estates. One example would be to run towards Wetherby. The old viaduct into Leeds Central offers an option to bring tramtrains in from the west (although I believe that tramtrains to Leeds Bradford Airport cannot be justified).

HS2 will massively change the transport network in this area, so any proposals should take these into account. The line through the region may offer a new transport corridor that could open a number of opportunities up
 

61653 HTAFC

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One of the issues many outside of Leeds have with Metro is their very Leeds-centric focus, given that (unlike Manchester to TfGM) Leeds is very much NOT central to West Yorkshire. If Metro was the transport authority for Yorkshire as a whole, Leeds is well-placed to be the natural centre of the region.

Though either way you still run up against the issue of the lack of railway infrastructure (in use or closed) to the Northeast of the city. If such an expensive project were to be launched it would need to focus on those areas which historically have been neglected by the railway, such as towards Roundhay. This is one of the reasons the Leeds Supertram has never gotten off the ground- unlike Manchester there are very few existing or closed routes suitable for conversion as they carry regional and long-distance services alongside the local stoppers. All the OP's suggestion does is bypass city station, which could be done much cheaper in other ways.
 

HSTEd

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Your thoughts are interesting, but we need to find ways of avoiding unnecessary travel whilst making what's necessary more efficient, rather than creating yet more pointless journeys.

Surely freedom to travel is an unalloyed social good?
The lower the cost of travel, through exploitation of economies of scale and imrpovements in operational and technical efficiencies the more efficient it becomes and the more widely it becomes useful.

I like the idea of a country where everyone can afford to travel more or less as they wish - this would however lead to an enormous transport load, which by your thinking is a terrible thing.

Restricting journeys deliberately to become more "efficient" leads inevitably to a social divide where poorer people are unable to move anywhere in search of work or a better life or for any other reason.
 

klambert

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That's the fatal flaw in your thinking.

The Victorians didn't have motorways - or even the vehicles that run on them, the telephone, the internet, air transport, etc. The primary rationale behind rail expansion has completely changed since Rocket, from expansion of the economy to preservation of our well-being through modal shift.

Your thoughts are interesting, but we need to find ways of avoiding unnecessary travel whilst making what's necessary more efficient, rather than creating yet more pointless journeys.

I completely disagree, you cannot stop people from wanting to create journeys and trying to move away from that will not happen. In fact I think the internet has made people make more rather than less journeys. Look at how much passenger numbers have risen in recent. and example of this would be; how many people do you know who have dated online and subsequently made the journey across town or across the country to see their partner. An option that wouldn't have been possible through the traditional means of dating. Also the so called working at home idea is quite an old one and still hasn't caught on and I don't think it will on a large scale.

I really don't think the idea is fatally flawed, you're still talking like railways are on the decline.

The only serious flaw I can see in the idea, is that we lack the political impetus to properly invest in creating a more joined up regional network in that part of the country.

I too like the idea of tram trains, but I find them to be very much too Leeds focussed, the overall aim of my idea is to benefit the entire Yorkshire county, by improving the links between many major destinations, rather than just benefitting Leeds itself.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
alongside the local stoppers. All the OP's suggestion does is bypass city station, which could be done much cheaper in other ways.

I'm curious, what other ways would you bypass Leeds station?

Bypassing Leeds City station is just one of many functions of my idea. In fact my idea isn't a complete bypass in the strictest sense as people can still interchange between Leeds city station station and Yorkshire crossrail

The ideas main aim is to make connecting western destinations like Manchester with eastern destinations like Hull and York easier, by allowing a greater amount of through traffic, to pass through Leeds without needing to change trains.
 
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quantinghome

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The idea of improving capacity through Leeds is not a flawed one. The flaw is in thinking that it must be a deep tunnel. Another problem is that it does nothing for areas of West Yorkshire which are distant from the rail network.
 

deltic08

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If you look at route 1 on the map, the river can be avoided entirely. Well apart from going over it on the old Leeds Central viaduct but that won't be too much of an i.

Route one possibly but not route 2. There is not enough distance for a ramp at 1 in 30 between bridging over the Normanton line and then tunnelling under the river and canal.

I wrote to Network Rail suggesting something similar for routing London trains over the Shipley/Harrogate lines and into new platforms adjacent to platform 0. This is a straighter exit/entry than the current 40/30/20 mph tortuous reverse curves and would knock off a minute or two and reduce conflicting moves.

Harrogate trains also need a dedicated route and platforms into the west of Leeds as there is conflict at Armley Junction with Skipton/Bradford FS/Ilkley trains especially when Leeds-Harrogate goes to four trains an hour from December 2017.
 

tbtc

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Just wondered what the RailUK community would make of my proposal, for what is effectively a Crossrail line for Leeds, in an effort to reduce congestion at Leeds station and to re-organise and revitalise rail services in Yorkshire and the north east in general. I came up with this idea after experiencing for myself the congestion which occurs at Leeds City Station

The intentions of this project are to; firstly make a suggestion to solve the chronic congestion issues at Leeds Station, by reducing the number of local services terminating at Leeds. To improve the interchange between the bus station and Leeds city station and to regenerate such impoverished areas as Armley, Richmond Hill and Osmondthorpe. Leeds Crossrail would vastly improve the rail services across the North east by directly connecting such destinations as Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford with York, Darlington and Hull as well as provide impetus for the electrification of many mainline and secondary routes and rejuvenating many underused lines. It would also allow the mass replacement of many life expired DMUs

Unlike the majority of these "My Fantasy Idea For..." threads, you've identified some real problems that could justify investment to solve.

However, shortly after you are talking about a double tracked electrified line from Knottingley to Goole? And we're into Jumbo Crayola territory...

One simpler way of freeing up platform space at Leeds would be to open a spur to Thorpe Park (J47 of M1, large local employment area, so feasible for decent sized Park & Ride).

That would allow anything terminating at Leeds from the west to run through to a new terminus (in the way that services from west of Manchester Victoria are being extended to Stalybridge/ Rochdale, to keep them out of the way and avoid clogging up Victoria).

Replace Cottingley with a four track station at the back of the White Rose Centre - that'd do significantly better than the 120 departing passengers per day at Cuttingly (pretty insignificant in a PTE area) - plus allow longer distance services on the Huddersfield corridor to overtake.

Spend the rest on electrifying everything (which would have the added benefit of allowing more interworking of services - e.g. at the moment an inbound Ilkley service can form an outbound Bradford/ Skipton/ Ilkley service, but an inbound Harrogate service is pretty much guaranteed to be the next outbound Harrogate service, meaning longer platform dwell times due to inefficient stock usage).

Armley? It's about a mile from central Leeds, so never going to be a big money spinner when tickets are subsidised by the PTE. You'd take more cars off the road and bring more revenue to the railway by focussing on stations further out than that. If there are spare seats on trains passing through Armley (on the Harrogate/ Ilkley/ Skipton corridors) then maybe, but at the moment someone taking the train a mile to Armley would be depriving someone to a further flung destination like Keighley.

There are parts of Leeds that have seen significant population rises in recent years but poor roads and no heavy rail - I'd look at those instead.

Additional stations in central Leeds could be A Good Thing, certainly to spread the passenger demand about a bit more, but I'd put this as a Nice To Have rather than something worth spending a billion on.

Same goes with better interchange with local buses - there's already a bus interchange at Leeds station (with many more services passing through the Dark Arches) - it'd be nice to have everything well connected (and I'm sure someone will be keen to point out that in utopian Switzerland/ Germany etc everything would be like this), but other cities seem to cope without a train station by their bus stations - Nice To Have but there are better things to spend money on in the meantime.

The only serious flaw I can see in the idea, is that we lack the political impetus to properly invest in creating a more joined up regional network in that part of the country.

I'd suggest that a big flaw is that you appear to have come up with a mega-solution and Grand Vision (again, I can't really get past the Knottingley - Goole suggestion) when there are some relatively smaller things that could bring in a lot of the benefits.
 
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