Train Electrification: What they said

tis. Commuters wait to board the train to Leeds at Harrogate Train Station. GS2102081b.
tis. Commuters wait to board the train to Leeds at Harrogate Train Station. GS2102081b.

With the revamp of the Leeds-Harrogate-York line still being debated, business leaders and politicians have their say on the benefits of electrification.

Andrew Jones

MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough

“Electrification is right at the heart of modernising our railway and it is the cornerstone of making it better. It will make the trains cheaper to run and will make them much better value for passengers.

“The fundamental point of electrification is the capacity to lower the costs and make the trains more direct. There will be more space on them, faster journeys, more stops and more journeys.

“Electrification means increasing the capacity of our network and we want that modernisation for the north of England.

Something which is providing a blue print for the north of England for the next few years and a future voice. This has been a long time coming. 11 years later I became the MP and now I am the chair of the task force.”

Helen Flynn

Lib Dem prospective 
parliamentary candidate

“Clearly it’s a massive priority for Harrogate to improve its transport links and electrification is a major contributor to getting it. It’s absolutely essential in this day and age.

“The other issue is the quality of rolling stock.

“When you get off the train from Leeds to Harrogate it’s like going back in time.

“It does not give our area a very good impression of travelling into Harrogate.

“When you come in, you have the conference centre here and it’s important that you have this prestigious image and the rail system is not consistent with that.

“It’s important to bring us into the twenty first century and to keep people moving around quickly.”

David Simister

Ukip prospective 
parliamentary candidate

“It should be a top priority not only to electrify this rail line but to make it double rail all the way through. They should also start the trains earlier so those people arriving in York can catch the first East Coast train to London.

“However, the government seems to be focused on the HS2 so projects like this might not get started. They are dragging their heels but this needs to happen.

“I am not the only one who thinks the transport links are appauling. If Harrogate is to thrive as a town and attract more business and more conferences then the transport links must happen.

“If you go to Leeds or York then switch, you have to get the awful train to Harrogate. The carriages are completely disgusting and it’s stuck in the steam age.”

Brian Dunsby

Chief Executive, Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce

“Electrification of the Harrogate line is the only way that the quality and quantity of trains between Leeds, Harrogate, Knaresborough and York can be substantially improved to match the current services on the Airedale and Wharfedale Lines.

“Such electric trains have faster acceleration and braking which means that they will provide a shorter overall journey time whilst also serving two new stations such as one at Flaxby Moor and one near the Airport.