South Yorkshire welcomes UK’s first Tram Train
11 December 2015 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
Transport Minister Andrew Jones has unveiled the UK’s first Tram Train due for service on South Yorkshire’s Supertram network between Sheffield and Rotherham.
The UK’s first Tram Train has arrived in Sheffield concluding its journey from Vossloh’s Valencia manufacturing plant in Spain. The fully constructed 37 metre Citylink Class 399 Tram Train vehicle arrived by boat at Southampton on 28 November 2015 before making the journey north to South Yorkshire.
The UK’s first Tram Trains will run on the Supertram network and the national rail network between Sheffield and Rotherham from 2017, allowing passengers to make a single journey between tram stops and conventional rail stations. The new vehicles have the signalling, power supply, control and telecommunications capability to run on both modes of rail. The vehicles will undergo testing before being introduced on sections of the Supertram network in summer 2016, providing extra services at busy times.
The arrival of the Tram Train marks a major step in the pilot scheme delivered by the Government in partnership with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), Network Rail, Stagecoach Supertram and Northern Rail.
“The unveiling of the UK’s first Tram Train is a major milestone and paves the way for an impressive new fleet of passenger vehicles”
Transport Minister Andrew Jones, said: “The unveiling of the UK’s first Tram Train is a major milestone and paves the way for an impressive new fleet of passenger vehicles to come into service from next year. This government-funded pioneering project will help transform travel in South Yorkshire with better journeys and improved connections. It will also boost the economy of the local area and beyond. Good strategic transport links and infrastructure are central to rebalancing the economy, bringing the country closer together and the success of the Northern Powerhouse.”
SYPTE Executive Director Stephen Edwards, said: “Tram Train is a first for the UK. The arrival of the first vehicle is an important milestone for the pilot scheme, to test whether the technology could be used elsewhere. Tram Train complements South Yorkshire’s transport objectives of improved connectivity and regional growth, and has the ability to transform transport networks both locally and nationally.”
Stagecoach Supertram Managing Director Margaret Kay, said: “We are delighted to welcome the first tram train to the Nunnery Square depot. It’s exciting to see this new state of the art vehicle in its new home. We very much look forward to inviting our customers onboard next year so they can begin benefitting from this great addition. In the meantime we will continue to train our new drivers and test the new vehicle at both the depot and across the network.”
Three Tram Trains an hour will travel on the Supertram network from Sheffield Cathedral to Meadowhall South, before proceeding over a new section of track linking the tram line to the rail track called the Tinsley Chord, and on to the national rail network to Parkgate Retail Centre via Rotherham Central station.
Future works to make the scheme a reality include:
Tram Train vehicle testing begins
Supertram tracks prepared for Tram Train
Construction of track to link the tram network to the train line
Three Tram Trains introduced on the Supertram network
New platforms built at Rotherham Station and Parkgate
Completion and electrification of the Tram Train network
Tram Train passenger services begin