The project which will allow passengers in South Yorkshire to be the first to ride on a Tram Train in the UK achieved a major milestone this Easter, marking a significant step forward for the pioneering scheme.
The track connection that will provide the physical link between the Supertram network and the traditional heavy rail network was installed at Tinsley, in a ground-breaking move for Britain’s rail industry.
Unique to the Tram Train concept, the critical junction connection will sit at the start of a new 400m section of track called the Tinsley Chord, and will allow services to travel seamlessly between Sheffield and Rotherham from 2018.
Simon Coulthard, Senior Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “It is really exciting to see the physical connection in place that will allow passengers to pass seamlessly between the Supertram and rail network. Tram Train is an entirely new way of travelling for the UK and will allow us to improve how we meet the needs of the communities and economies our transport networks serve.
“This is a challenging project and there is still much to do, including the construction of the tram stops at Rotherham Central and Parkgate and the completion of the overhead line power system. The work we have completed this Easter is a crucial step forward as we continue work with our partners to deliver the full Tram Train service from Sheffield city centre to Rotherham Central and Parkgate next year.”
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) Executive Director, Stephen Edwards, added: “The track connection completed at Easter marks an exciting milestone for South Yorkshire’s scheme, and is a significant part of the construction that will turn years of meticulous planning into Britain’s first operational Tram Train service.”
Delivered by SYPTE, Network Rail, Stagecoach Supertram, Arriva Rail North and the Department for Transport, the Tram Train pilot has also seen work begin on College Road bridge in Rotherham this Easter. This bridge will be demolished and replaced during the late May bank holiday (Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May) in order to raise it and provide space for the overhead line equipment underneath.
In order to complete the work safely, trains will be diverted between Meadowhall and Swinton and will not stop at Rotherham Central; a bus replacement service will be offered.
For more information visit sypte.co.uk/tramtrain