TESTING of the UK’s first Tram Train vehicles is taking place on South Yorkshire’s Supertram system, in preparation for passenger services starting in 2018.
The pioneering pilot will provide a direct transport connection from Sheffield city centre to Rotherham Central and Parkgate, travelling on both tram lines and the national rail network.
Initial testing and mileage accumulation of the seven Citylink Tram Train vehicles delivered and commissioned for the scheme is now underway.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) Executive Director, Stephen Edwards, said: “People in Sheffield will start seeing the new vehicles running “out of service” in-between scheduled trams. This important testing is making sure the vehicles and the existing Supertram system are working as they should.
“Driver training will commence shortly and we aim to put the Citylink vehicles into service to supplement Supertram services from this summer. The vehicles will then be tested on the heavy rail network early next year, before going into Tram Train passenger service.”
Learning from South Yorkshire’s pilot scheme will help the rail industry assess if Tram Train technology could be used elsewhere.
Engineering work between October 2015 and February 2016 made adaptations to the Supertram network to accommodate Tram Train vehicles.
Future works to make Tram Train a reality include the construction of a new section of track called the Tinsley Chord to link the tram system to the rail line between Sheffield and Rotherham, building new Tram Train platforms at Rotherham Central and Parkgate, and electrification of the network.
The Tram Train pilot is delivered by SYPTE, Stagecoach Supertram, Network Rail, Arriva Rail North and the Department for Transport.
For more information visit sypte.co.uk/tramtrainNotes to editors:
- Images show: A Citylink Class 399 Tram Train vehicle in testing on the Supertram network.
- A Tram Train is a tram-type vehicle that has the signalling, power supply, control and telecommunications technology to run on both street tram lines and the rail network. Passengers can make a single journey between tram stops and conventional rail stations on a Tram Train.
- Seven Citylink Class 399 vehicles have been delivered for South Yorkshire’s Tram Train project and are stabled at Stagecoach Supertram’s Nunnery Square depot. Of these seven, three will run on the Supertram network and three will run as Tram Trains between Sheffield City Centre and Parkgate in 2018. One vehicle will be used as a spare.
- More information about Tram Train vehicles can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions at sypte.co.uk/tramtrain/