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Light rail news roundup Thursday August 27, 2020

Organisations operating in the light rail sector are being invited to take part in a pilot scheme aimed at testing the latest wearable technology that’s being developed to improve tram safety.

A partnership of public and private sector organisations, led by Edinburgh Trams with the support of UKTram and Transport for Edinburgh, the Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) focusses on devices worn by drivers and other mobile workers to monitor fatigue and wellbeing levels.

Now the name FOCUS+ has been selected for the solution developed as part of the project that’s now preparing to enter the next phase of prototype trials.

Organisations that would like to take part in the trials should contact

UKTram is also continuing to drive professional standards across the light rail sector with the launch of a new initiative aimed at traction and rolling stock technicians.

The National Occupational Standards (NOS) project is being developed in partnership with employers and other appropriate organisations across the UK and you can read the full story here.

In other light rail news:


Some tram services will be affected in Nottingham over the Bank Holiday weekend as tree maintenance work is carried out.

The work is standard maintenance to prevent trees from causing damage to tramway infrastructure.

The work is set to start on Saturday, August 29 when Highbury Vale Branch, Cinderhill and Phoenix Park stops will be closed and all Phoenix Park trams will be redirected to Bulwell.

Full details of the work and amended services can be found here.

West Midlands Metro

It’s now even easier to find great-value tram tickets for the West Midlands Metro with the launch of a new, online ‘Fare Finder’.

Customers can now quickly search for a ticket that suits their needs, whether this be for frequent journeys or a one-off trip.

It uses a simple step-by-step process, to help customers source the best ticket options, based on the time that they intend to travel, type of traveller, e.g. adult, child, student, family, concession, and how frequently they’ll be making the journey.

Read the full story here.

Edinburgh Trams

A new timetable has been introduced which will see the return of more frequent services at peak times throughout the day in Edinburgh.

In response to customer demand, services will be operating from every seven minutes between 12 noon and 2pm. Additionally, extra services will operate at other times based on observations on the day. Services will operate every 15 minutes outside of these times.

Customers are also being reminded that Covid-19 measures remain in place and you can read the full story here.


Transport for Greater Manchester are telling residents of Oldham to only use Metrolink for essential travel, for example to get to work, school, to get supplies, to care for others or for medical reasons.

The guidance can be found at and comes as Metrolink extends services, operating at a 10-minute frequency across all lines between 6am and 7pm and then every 20 minutes from 7pm until midnight.

On Saturdays, a 10-minute frequency will be in place 8am to 8pm and then every 20 minutes from 8pm until midnight while on Sundays, trams will run every 15 minutes throughout the day from 7am until 11pm.

Docklands Light Railway

A Network Rail report has suggested that the Docklands Light Railway station at Tower Gateway in the City of London could be decommissioned to make space for an expansion of Fenchurch Street station.

The New Civil Engineer reports that Network Rail’s Essex Thameside Study predicts that pedestrian capacity at Fenchurch Street is set to exceed Network Rail’s station capacity planning guidance around 2025.

Modelling undertaken on Network Rail shows that the only way to increase capacity sufficiently is to move Fenchurch Street station by 350m to the east, taking up the site of the existing Tower Gateway DLR station.

Tyne & Wear Metro

As the system celebrates its landmark 40th anniversary, a feature on the operator’s website takes a look back on a pioneering project that changed the face of transport in North East England.

When work started on the project in 1974 it became Britain’s largest urban transport scheme of the 20th century, and you can read all about it here.

To be included in the next round-up, or the Member’s News section of the website, send your press releases to