Are trams a better solution?
The perennial bugbear of Starbeck crossing could be greatly reduced by the electrification of our line if commuter services were to be operated by trams.
Their lighter construction and superior braking makes them safe for street running, enabling level crossings to be controlled, without gates, by ordinary traffic lights.
The rapid acceleration and deceleration of trams would enable additional stops to be provided, without reduced journey times. The peak time ‘no platform’ delays at Leeds could be obviated by transferring to road-running at Wortley junction, entering Leeds via Wellington Street and City Square. The greater flexibility of trams would enable a more frequent service between Knaresborough and York, despite the single track sections.
This is not a fantasy; similar systems have been running successfully in Germany for years and the total cost of the conversion would be less than that currently envisaged.
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