Saturday, 4 June 2011

Halton Curve

Well Cllr Lynn Riley and I went on a train journey this morning.  Nothing special perhaps - except it was.  We boarded a train at Frodsham and travelled the short journey to Liverpool South Parkway - going around the Halton Curve - a short stretch of track that has been all but effectively closed to passenger trains.  But this was a special train - seeking to persuade Network Rail that the curve should be 're-opened' for regular passenger traffic.  And I gather that this special stopping train only runs once a year.

However once a week - and I gather it is on a Saturday morning - a 'Parliamentary Train' runs non stop from Chester to Runcorn around the curve proving it remains open.  Few people, if any are on board.  The whole point of running this one train at a pointless hour is to maintain the fiction that the curve remains open.

It would make a massive difference to those of us in North Cheshire to be able to link into the main Liverpool-London main line just 'round the corner'.  A whole raft of speedier trips to London and beyond would be readily available.  We'd also be able to get to Liverpool more swiftly and getting to Liverpool Airport by public transport would be a real possibility.

So come on Network Rail - invest in the curve.  Put this missing crossings and points back in so the line can operate both to and from Runcorn - rather than one way.  The ultimate irony is that Network Rail took out the two-way working so the Runcorn-Crewe line could operate at faster speed.

As you can't travel south from Liverpool to Frodsham on the curve we all travelled back to Frodsham by a 1961 single decker Crossville bus!