OUR railways and roads are the arteries which pump East Lancashire’s economic heartbeat which, in turn, brings trade and creates jobs.

So to have an improved train line with enough rolling stock to transport commuters to and from a major urban city like Manchester would seem like the logical thing to do.

But sadly there will be a six-month delay before the Todmorden Curve begins to bear fruit after years of campaigning and hurdle jumping by our MPs and business leaders.

And the fact it is down to there not being any trains available is frankly absurd.

Work on reinstating the new line has cost millions and taken months to complete.

And yet, as the dawn of a new transport era is almost here, nobody can travel on the line until at least December.

MPs said if this was in the south of England, a train would be found quicker than a heartbeat.

Nationally, around £18billion is being spent on the new HS2 high speed line connecting London to Birmingham, and £42billion in total to include extending the line to Manchester and Leeds.

Surely the train operators could find what is a drop in the ocean in comparison and buy a train or transfer a diesel engine from the Settle to Carlisle line?

The opening of the Todmorden Curve will be one of the most lucrative projects to ever happen in East Lancashire and Burnley, in particular, as it will allow people to move to the area yet still work in the big city.

This is an opportunity rail chiefs should be grabbing with both hands and not waiting another six months to get on track.