New hope for East Lancashire to Manchester rail link

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: MP Jack Straw has voiced concern over the link MP Jack Straw has voiced concern over the link

A POSSIBLE lifeline could be thrown to East Lancashire’s long-awaited faster train service to Manchester after the intervention af a transport minister.

The Lancashire Telegraph revealed earlier this year that no diesel trains could be found to run on the reinstated Todmorden Curve, when it is scheduled to reopen in the spring.

Northern Rail had blamed a national shortage of diesel units — provoking fury among East Lancashire MPs and leading councillors.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw, during a Transport Questions session in the House of Commons, said it was a ‘bizarre situation’, after an £8million investment, that there were now no trains to run along the line from East Lancashire to Manchester Victoria. The former Home Secretary asked ministers to meet with both himself and Hyndburn MP Graham Jones regarding possible delays to the much-anticipated route’s operation. Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle has also raised questions about the delay.

In reply, Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said he had already been lobbied about the matter by a number of Lancashire MPs. He said: “I expect to have some good news about rolling stock next year and I would be happy to meet the right honourable gentleman and his colleague.”

Originally the East Lancashire to Manchester Victoria service, running from Blackburn through Accrington, Rosegrove, Burnley Manchester Road and Todmorden, was destined to begin next May, before the trains shortage was disclosed.

Coun Margaret Lishman, opposition leader on Burnley Council, has urged every borough councillor to email Northern Rail regarding the trains delay.

Burnley Council leader Coun Julie Cooper said it was ‘embarrassing’ that, after having the line reinstated following years of campaigning, there were no trains to transport passengers.

Comments (6)

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5:12pm Fri 20 Dec 13

GAC says...

northern rail are lazy sods and refuse to invest in new rolling stock. they have been dodging doing it for 10 years now and all say is "franchise rules" iv spoken with the department for transport and they say its a load of rubbish they have the ability to buy some its just they wont. but thanks to there being no hard rules on overcrowding nothing will be done so i wouldn't expect that curve to open any time soon as they cant run a full service now always half a dozen trains canceled or short of carriages so god knows how an extra route will do to their woeful service.
northern rail are lazy sods and refuse to invest in new rolling stock. they have been dodging doing it for 10 years now and all say is "franchise rules" iv spoken with the department for transport and they say its a load of rubbish they have the ability to buy some its just they wont. but thanks to there being no hard rules on overcrowding nothing will be done so i wouldn't expect that curve to open any time soon as they cant run a full service now always half a dozen trains canceled or short of carriages so god knows how an extra route will do to their woeful service. GAC

5:32pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Benpupdog says...

Sod Jack Straw he is against all types of development, unless it is specifically for the Asian community.
Sod Jack Straw he is against all types of development, unless it is specifically for the Asian community. Benpupdog

6:07pm Fri 20 Dec 13

fabinribblevalley says...

The real reason they have no spare trains for East Lancs. is Bangladesh are not scrapping any more loco's at this time
The real reason they have no spare trains for East Lancs. is Bangladesh are not scrapping any more loco's at this time fabinribblevalley

7:26pm Fri 20 Dec 13

happycyclist says...

Politicians squabbling over whose fault it is that there aren't enough trains to run on our rail network... They just don't get it, do they?
Politicians squabbling over whose fault it is that there aren't enough trains to run on our rail network... They just don't get it, do they? happycyclist

8:37pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Excluded again says...

Northern Rail often don't have enough drivers to run their trains. Now they don't have enough trains.

But they always seem to have enough accountants, directors and managers. Strange that.
Northern Rail often don't have enough drivers to run their trains. Now they don't have enough trains. But they always seem to have enough accountants, directors and managers. Strange that. Excluded again

9:08pm Fri 20 Dec 13

willie eckerslike says...

2014 is the age of the train !!! "AND SOME ARE EVEN OLDER" oh, and whats happened to SELRAP, website not been up dated for ages, its all gone very quiet, is the game over ??? or what !!
2014 is the age of the train !!! "AND SOME ARE EVEN OLDER" oh, and whats happened to SELRAP, website not been up dated for ages, its all gone very quiet, is the game over ??? or what !! willie eckerslike

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