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Yesterday’s torrential rains are causing ripples (if you’ll pardon the pun) today as rail services in the Calder valley are still disrupted. For once the line didn’t flood at Walsden but over in Lancashire. It finally reopened earlier this afternoon, but services are still chaotic with many trains cancelled. This morning, trains from Leeds were being terminated at either Hebden Bridge or Todmorden and nothing was running at all East of Manchester Victoria. This screen at Todmorden says it all…

I’ve ventured out as far as Walsden to have a look and get a few pictures (which I’ll add later). We’ve had very little rain so far today although the skies are constantly changing and threatening another deluge. Sadly, Valley folk are having to become accustomed to floods nowadays. Climate change is here and it’s real, and local human activity up on the moors is exacerbating it by allowing the rain to run off much more quickly.

Trying to protect our Victorian rail network from Climate Change is a huge task. What were once considered once in a century events are now happening with monotonous regularity – and there are no quick fixes or easy solutions as land around railways has been buried under roads or encroached on by housing and commercial developments. This is one of the reasons I’m such an advocate for building HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. We cannot expect to rely on Victorian infrastructure forever.

OK, as promised, here’s a few pictures from today.

The old Pacer’s still soldier on. Here’s 142079 which should have been working to Manchester but was terminated at Hebden Bridge instead
Nearly 30 mins after the Pacer, this arrived. Optimistically bearing a Chester destination, this service was only going as far at Todmorden, where it would reverse and high-tail it back to Leeds.
12.55. Journey’s end at Todmorden as the driver changes ends and prepares to head back to Leeds as the flooding in Lancashire precluded getting any further West for the next few hours.
Finally, at 13.30 this pair (150118 and 156459) were sent West on an exploratory mission to see if the line was safe to reopen and all the signalling systems worked. They’re seen here approaching Walsden station
The first passenger carrying train to make it through was this, 150102 working 1D76, the 1138 Leeds to Chester.