THE UK’S first Tram Train will be unveiled by Transport Minister Andrew Jones together with the Tram Train project team at an official event in Sheffield today (Thursday 10 December).
Passengers in South Yorkshire will be the first in the country to benefit from the innovative Tram Trains - a new tram-type vehicle, designed to run on both the city’s tramlines and the rail network between Sheffield and Rotherham.
The Tram Trains, which will allow passengers to make a single journey between tram stops and conventional rail stations from early 2017, will undergo testing before being introduced on the Supertram network in Summer 2016 to provide extra services at busy times.
The Government is working in partnership with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), Network Rail, Stagecoach Supertram and Northern Rail to pilot this pioneering technology.
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:
- December 2015: Tram Train vehicle testing begins
- January 2016: Supertram tracks prepared for Tram Train
- Spring 2016: Construction of track to link the tram network to the train line
- Summer 2016: Three Tram Trains introduced on the Supertram network
- Autumn 2016: New platforms built at Rotherham Station and Parkgate
- Winter 2016: Completion and electrification of the Tram Train network
- Early 2017: Tram Train passenger services begin
South Yorkshire’s Tram Train pilot will run for two years while customer satisfaction, passenger numbers, reliability and costs are tested. Tram Train will continue to run as a local service if the pilot is successful.