Whilst trains may not be running for another sixteen years, plans for the High Speed Rail (HS2) route are well advanced and a consultation event is being held residents affected by new line.
The route from London will enter Leeds through Woodlesford where a tunnel will take the line under the town. It will then use the existing rail corridor from Woodlesford to Hunslet. This is currently used by trains between Leeds and Castleford and also contains the Hunslet freight depot at Midland Road. The route will be widened where necessary to accommodate both lines.
Through Hunslet the line is currently crossed by bridges on Pepper Road, Balm Road and Beza Street. The existing line then goes under the motorway slip roads at junction 3 of the M621 and swings around through Holbeck to reach the station. The new HS2 line will rise on a new embankment starting close to the Council gritting depot at Pottery Fields around the junction of Dewsbury Road, Jack Lane and Leathley Road.
It will then head on a viaduct over Meadow Lane and Great Wilson Street, with five new platforms reaching across the River Aire to join the existing station.
The route through Hunslet is largely contained in cuttings and most of the adjoining properties are industrial or commercial. The main residential area that is likely to be affected is Hunslet Carr, especially the Telfords, Leasowes and Claytons.
A consultation event is being held by HS2 Ltd, the company that is building the new railway, on Tuesday 24 January between 12-8pm at the Royal Armouries Museum. The event is an opportunity to talk to staff about the route and how it will affect nearby properties and will include sound demonstrations.