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Light rail news roundup Thursday September 10, 2020

The successful completion of a pioneering project looks set to help overcome some of the barriers to the further expansion of light rail in the UK.

As part of the £3 million Low Impact Light Rail (LILR) Competition led by UKTram, innovations that could speed up and reduce the cost of network construction, or lower operating and energy costs, successfully made it through to the demonstration phase.

The initiative showcases technologies that have the potential to make light rail an even more attractive option for cities looking to provide clean, reliable public transport.

You can read all about the project here. The full story also has a link to a timelapse video illustrating one of the projects that uses macro-synthetic fibres to reinforce precast concrete slab track structures that can be easily installed, removed and replaced for rapid construction and easy maintenance.

In other light rail news:

Edinburgh Trams

The network has partnered with One Ticket to allow ticket holders eligible to travel in its Edinburgh SmartZone, access to the city’s tram system.

From Sunday, August 30, they can use the city’s tramway from all stops in the city fare zone between Ingliston Park & Ride and the City Centre and you can read the full story here.


The brand-new Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange is now open, providing passengers with much-improved facilities and a modern, accessible gateway to the town.

The Interchange supports the economic growth of the town and helps people to get to and from their places of work as well as Ashton’s great shops, markets, restaurants and bars in a modern, safe and welcoming environment.

The Interchange has been developed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in partnership with Tameside Council and funded with support from central government’s Local Growth Deal programme. The building contractor was VINCI Construction UK.

Read more here.

Blackpool Transport

They’ll be more trams, more often in Blackpool as the town prepares for the switch on of the town’s world-famous Illuminations.

From Sunday 30 August, trams will run up to every 10 minutes with services running later into the evenings every Friday and Saturday.

Following the pandemic, tram services have been gradually been rebuilt to provide services for residents and visitors across the Fylde coast and Blackpool Transport will be using all its available resources during the busier evenings to carry as many customers as possible.

During the daytime, trams will run every 20 minutes before 7am, and every 15 minutes between 7am and 6pm and you can read more here.

Sheffield Supertram

The fourth area of the networks’s Rail Replacement Project is set to start on September 15, in partnership with the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE).

While the work is taking place, trams cannot operate beyond Donetsk Way and full details can be found here.

Luas Dublin

Details of the preferred route of the proposed extension of the Luas Green Line from Broombridge to Finglas have been announced.

4km long, the Emerging Preferred Route includes four new Luas stops, a cycle and pedestrian path, a Park & Ride facility at Charlestown, and an interchange with bus and rail networks.

The Luas Finglas website provides lots of information on the scheme and gives you access to all public consultation materials and members of the public are being asked for their views on the proposals.

The closing date for public consultation submissions is September 17 and full details can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Staff from Nexus, the network operator, have joined forces with the police for a major operation to deal with trouble-makers.

Northumbria Police led the operation with Nexus, local councils and British Transport Police to make travelling a safer and happier experience.

Operation Hermes lasted two days and saw officers and staff patrolling across the Metro system to protect and educate passengers.

A wide range of tactics were deployed during the operation, including the use of archway knife detectors and wands, undercover work and outreach and you can read the full story here.


A 1930s Blackpool Corporation Tramways tramcar is set to be restored at Crich Tramway Village in Derbyshire at a cost of £373,000.

Blackpool 298 tramcar was taken out of service in October 1974 and was acquired for preservation by early members of the Tramway Museum Society (TMS).

A restoration fund has been set up and grown with regular contributions from members. Visit Tramway to find out more.

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