The launch of the hub is a key part of the £75m Tram Train Pilot scheme, which was finally launched in South Yorkshire in October 2018, and runs from Sheffield Cathedral via Rotherham Central station to Rotherham Parkgate. The pilot, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) as long ago as 2006, was intended to test customer satisfaction, passenger numbers, reliability and costs. The scheme has proven popular and scored 96% for user satisfaction on the latest independent survey by Transport Focus.   

Tram-trains are able to operate on both light rail and mainline infrastructure, and can provide new connections with less infrastructure.  

The hub is a comprehensive body of learning available free of charge that will benefit and boost future light and heavy rail hybrid schemes. The system is hosted by the web-based SharpCloud system and features easy navigation, a high-quality graphic interface and updates through to mid-2021. 

The launch of the hub marks the first major deliverable for NR’s new Light Rail Knowledge team, which is part of the Network Services directorate. The team, led by Mr Simon Coulthard, has been created to provide a centre of excellence in NR for light rail matters.  

Coulthard, along with light rail knowledge manager, Mr Alex Dodds, will work closely with colleagues and stakeholders to share learning from the Tram Train Pilot and help assess the next generation of light rail schemes that could benefit passengers and communities.  

“It’s taken a huge effort by all the partners to bring our collective learning into one accessible forum,” Dodds says. “I’m really excited to be sharing our knowledge and helping the development of future light rail schemes.” 

Applications for access to the hub, which is owned and managed by NR, can be made by emailing [email protected]. Applicants should provide their name, job title, organisation and email address.