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Light rail news roundup Wednesday July 29, 2020

A full review of system switches and crossing maintenance regimes is set to be funded by UKTram and the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board.

Huddersfield University will be partners on the project, which is being carried out in line with a push by the Office of Rail and Road requiring those responsible for maintenance to review standards and processes and, where necessary, implement a more robust regime for maintenance and renewal.

Further details and project updates will be published on the UKTram website in due course.


The past week has also seen marketing and customer services professionals from across the light rail sector reporting the continued success of their messages on safe travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the UKTram Light Rail Marketing, Communications and Customer Services Group heard that the vast majority of customers continue to comply with the rules on face coverings and guidance on social distancing.

Across the sector a significant increase in customer numbers has also been reported since the government dropped its advice on avoiding public transport, although patronage remains well below pre-Covid levels. You can read the full story here.


It’s also been a busy week for heritage tramways, with several announcing a resumption of services ahead of the summer season.

In Blackpool, a unique collection of heritage trams is set to return to the tracks for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The Heritage Tram Tours will then run from September with illuminated trams joining the heritage in October to add extra sparkle to the town’s world-famous illuminations. Full details of the Heritage Tours timetable can be found here.

Discounted breakfasts, lunches and snacks are on offer at the Tramstop Café, Colyton, with Seaton Tramway, customers being urged to ‘eat out to help out’. Visitors can get up to £10 off per person when they eat at the café on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.

Services have also resumed on the Manx Electric Railway for the summer season with trams running between Saturday and Tuesday every week until September 13. Timetable ‘C’ will be in operation with the first car setting off from Derby Castle at 9.40am.

In other light rail news:

West Midlands Metro

The region-wide Swift travel card has added a new fare-capped payment service to guarantee commuters the best-value fare on West Midlands Metro. The new Swift Go service is aimed at occasional travellers and calculates the best-value fare at the end of each day based on the journeys taken – meaning commuters are not penalised for changing their plans. You can read the full story here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Nexus, the public body that owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, has secured £20m of government funding for modernisation work on the network.

The funding will be used to continue essential infrastructure renewal works, including track and overhead line replacement, when the current £350m Metro all-change programme of major upgrades ends in March 2021.

Nexus has also confirmed it’s working with the Department for Transport to secure further investment through to 2025 in this year’s Spending Review. You can read the full story here.


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