This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Yorkshire tram-train gets grant to develop business case

by Katie Silvester ■

A government grant has brought the Sheffi eld to Rotherham tram-train concept a step closer to becoming reality. Transport minister Norman Baker has promised £150,000 for Northern Rail, Network Rail and South Yorkshire Transport Executive to further develop the scheme by working together on the business case and the project case for the pilot. If the scheme comes to fruition, tram-trains

– which can use both on-street tram lines and traditional heavy rail tracks – would run between Sheffi eld and Rotherham, using the existing freight route from Rotherham into Sheffi eld and then joining the Sheffi eld Supertram network at Meadowhall South. Norman Baker said: ‘Tram-trains offer

passengers travelling from rural and suburban

‘Tram-trains have the potential to transform big city commuter rail networks’

Scotland to get

‘mini barriers’ Network Rail is to test the use of mini barriers at some open level crossings in Scotland to improve safety. The company believes a

‘shorter, stubbier’ barrier could cut risks to motorists while being signifi cantly cheaper than full-sized gates. A pilot will be run later this

year, and if successful, could lead to barriers being installed at 128 crossings across the UK. Former MSP Dave

Thompson, who has campaigned for barriers in the wake of several accidents in his Highlands and Islands constituency, described the move as ‘very encouraging’.

areas into city centres a viable, environmentally sound alternative to short and medium car commuting that can cut congestion and reduce overcrowding at railway stations. ‘These sorts of rail fl eets are already in use on

the continent, but this is a fi rst for the UK. The funding we are providing for this exciting project represents a real chance for us to test whether they can be adapted successfully for South Yorkshire and the rest of the UK.’ Geoff Inskip, chair of the Passenger Transport

Executive Group, welcomed the grant. He said: ‘Tram-trains have the potential to transform big city commuter rail networks so that passengers can get on at their local rail station and get off on the main streets of our city centres. ‘By combining the best of fast and dedicated heavy rail lines outside the city, and on-street running in the city, tram-trains can also relieve the pressure on our major city centre rail stations. ‘Tram-trains are already proven technology in

France, Germany and the Netherlands.’ ■

An Alstom Regio Citadis tram train in Kassel, Germany

Salisbury upgrade gets green light ■

Network Rail is to modernise signalling on the Salisbury to

Exeter line at a cost of £20m. The 90-mile route, which is

single track in places, now handles more than 40 trains a day, but some of the signalling equipment dates back to the 1960s and was last upgraded in the 1980s. Work will also be carried out

to level crossings along the route. In particular crossing access at

Sherborne station will allow use by wheelchair users. Network Rail’s Wessex route

director, Richard O’Brien, said: ‘The number of passengers travelling on the Salisbury to Exeter railway has been steadily rising, and it is key that the railway remains robust and reliable to serve this burgeoning demand.’ Work will start this autumn and will be completed during 2012.

Parry People Mover test re-scheduled ■

Plans to run an ultra-light rail service on the Watercress line in Hampshire have been re-scheduled.

Go! Co-operative had planned to use a Parry People Mover to run a

service for commuters to connect with South West Trains at Alton. It was abandoned at the last minute two months ago. The railcar suffered damage to its electric system in transit, which was

followed by a pump failure that prevented the vehicle from running. Goco says it remains in discussion with Hampshire County Council

and the heritage railway with the intention of running a trial later this year.

Chris Phillimore of Goco said: ‘The expertise we have gained A Scottish open crossing

developing and promoting the Mid Hants Link has made us even more convinced of the business case for ultra light rail, based on co-operative principles.’


lorries ‘will undermine rail’

Longer lorries would undermine rail’s efforts

to win a bigger share of the supermarket traffi c, according to the campaign group Freight on Rail. The Department for Transport

is consulting on allowing an increase in the length of articulated lorries, up by 2.05 metres to 18.75 metres.

The longer lorries would have

to operate within the existing 44-tonne weight limit. Research by TRL suggests

that the length would reduce carbon dioxide emissions, because hauliers could carry more goods in a single vehicle. The DfT predicts that the

change will cut growth potential in rail freight, but says rail operators could carry the longer intermodal units. The consultation ends on 21 June.

MAY 2011 PAGE 9


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40