TRAIN journey times will be slashed with the electrification of the Trans Pennine rail route passing through Morley.
The planned electrification of the York to Manchester line is part of £1bn investment in the rail network announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne in his autumn spending review.
It has been welcomed by Alan Haigh, a Morley member of the Campaign for Better Transport, who said it was good news for people in Morley who will benefit from cleaner and quieter trains and faster services.
Mr Haigh, who lives on Foster Close said: “We should get a vastly improved local service at Morley station as electrification is usually followed by what is known as the ‘sparks effect’.
“This is greatly increased patronage through a vastly improved electric service with better, cleaner and quieter rolling stock.
“This happened on the Ilkley and Skipton lines after electrification.”
Rail electrification means that noisy and polluting diesel trains can be replaced by lighter and quieter trains that do not have to generate their own power.
With a better power to weight ratio, they are also able to stop more easily in an emergency.
Coun James Lewis, the chairman of Metro, the West Yorkshire public transport executive also welcomed the news, saying it would have knock-on benefits for the region’s economy.
He said: “Research has shown that the result of bringing journey times between Leeds and Manchester down from around an hour to under 45 minutes would be a £6.7bn boost in productivity.
“Improving cross-Pennine train services is one of the building blocks of a transport network that will help build the economy of West Yorkshire and the Leeds City region.”
He added that the electrification of the rail route would make it an attractive alternative to the often overcrowded M62 motorway.