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Railwatch 078 - December 1998

Railwatch - The regions need more rail services

People living in the north are becoming restless with talk of the Heathrow Express, CrossRail and Thameslink 2000 projects.

Bradford for instance is the worst served of all our major cities, according to Rowland Dale, a Bradford Metropolitan District Councillor who is also a member of RDS.

The city is roughly the size of Newcastle and Leicester and is bigger than Cardiff but it has only three trains a day to King's Cross.

He calls for RDS to take more interest both in the Central Railway project and existing Trans-Pennine services which are vital for 20 million people.

"More intelligent consideration should be given to our audience, by region and by gender," he said.

Mr Dale is hoping that the relaunched Central Railway could provide significant benefits for the north.

The ambitious scheme to open a continental-gauge railway from Lille to Liverpool was outlined to RDSmembers in Leicester in October by Central's development director Robert Rafferty.

Disused lines, including Woodhead Tunnel, could be reinstated and provision made for piggyback, ordinary freight and passenger trains.

The aim would be to provide "numerous connections" to the Railtrack network.

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