May 17, 2012

Sheffield - Rotherham tram-train pilot goes ahead

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THE British Department for Transport (DfT) has given the go-ahead for a £58m tram-train pilot scheme linking the Sheffield Supertram network with Rotherham.

The project requires the electrification of a section of mainline track between Sheffield and Rotherham at 750V dc and the construction of 400m of new track between the existing light rail and mainline infrastructure. The pilot service is due to commence in 2015 and last for two years with a view to adopting permanent operation.

The new line will be served by a new fleet of seven vehicles supplied by Vossloh Rail Vehicles in Valencia, Spain, which was identified as the preferred bidder by Northern franchisee, Serco-Abellio in 2009-10. However, with the Northern franchise contract set to end in the next two years the vehicle contract will be let by South Yorkshire PTE and the service is likely to be operated by Stagecoach Supertram, which has the concession to operate the Sheffield Supertram network until 2024. Three services per hour will initially be offered on the pilot route running to all stations from Cathedral in Sheffield to Meadowhall, Rotherham Parkgate and Rotherham Central.

The DfT says that the objectives of the tram-train pilot are to understand the costs and changes in standards required to operate lighter vehicles on mainline infrastructure and the transfer to existing light rail lines, and to gauge passenger perceptions of using tram-trains ahead of potentially rolling the concept out in other British towns and cities.

THE British Department for Transport (DfT) has given the go-ahead for a £58m tram-train pilot scheme linking the Sheffield Supertram network with Rotherham.

The project requires the electrification of a section of mainline track between Sheffield and Rotherham at 750V dc and the construction of 400m of new track between the existing light rail and mainline infrastructure. The pilot service is due to commence in 2015 and last for two years with a view to adopting permanent operation.

The new line will be served by a new fleet of seven vehicles supplied by Vossloh Rail Vehicles in Valencia, Spain, which was identified as the preferred bidder by Northern franchisee, Serco-Abellio in 2009-10. However, with the Northern franchise contract set to end in the next two years the vehicle contract will be let by South Yorkshire PTE and the service is likely to be operated by Stagecoach Supertram, which has the concession to operate the Sheffield Supertram network until 2024. Three services per hour will initially be offered on the pilot route running to all stations from Cathedral in Sheffield to Meadowhall, Rotherham Parkgate and Rotherham Central.

The DfT says that the objectives of the tram-train pilot are to understand the costs and changes in standards required to operate lighter vehicles on mainline infrastructure and the transfer to existing light rail lines, and to gauge passenger perceptions of using tram-trains ahead of potentially rolling the concept out in other British towns and cities.

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