You are logged in | Edit Details | logout


Light rail news roundup Wednesday September 16, 2020

A new newsletter has been launched by UKTram to help keep members up to date on the organisation’s work across a wide range of projects and initiatives.

In his introduction to the newsletter, Managing Director James Hammett thanks members for their contributions over the last 12 month and in helping UKTram deliver a sector-wide response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“While it continues to be a trying and busy time for us all, these unprecedented circumstances have seen the sector come together in a way that will help us build for the future,” he says.

Mr Hammett also provides an update on the organisation’s progress towards fulfilling the five key areas covered in its three-year business plan and the publication of its revised plans plan for 2021.

The newsletter also contains news of projects from the UKTram Centre of Excellence and a report from the Marketing, Communications and Customer Services Group as well as Engineering and Operations updates.

To view the newsletter in full, click here.

In other light rail news:

Sheffield Supertram

As more employees and students return to workplaces and education, operator Stagecoach has carried out a review on how best to provide the safe capacity needed for customers.

From this week the network’s Purple route and a significant section of the Blue route have reopened with revised social distancing arrangements in place, consistent with the government’s most recent 1m+ guidelines. Labels which currently recommend seats not to be used will be removed.

These changes will provide more flexible and efficient use of available seats, such as for family groups or customers in the same household, and aim to reduce any congestion around doorways. Read the fill story here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

The Tyne and Wear Metro is to embark on its biggest ever driver training school after recruitment was halted earlier this year due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, is taking on 30 new drivers during September and October – the largest single school since Metro began operations in 1980.

Training across the UK rail industry had been unable to take place during lockdown because national assessment centres that could put candidates through the required aptitude tests had to be closed and you can read more here.


Blackpool Tramway has revised its 135th anniversary celebrations due to coronavirus restrictions. The tramway had planned to have a bigger, more spectacular, celebration, and while depot tours have not been possible, a weekend of activities have been scheduled for the end of September.

These include a ‘Procession of Trams through the Ages’ on Sunday, September 27. Featuring six trams, the procession will depart from Pleasure Beach and will travel at slow speed between Central Pier and North Pier before continuing to Little Bispham and then returning to Pleasure Beach.

You can read more about the tramway’s anniversary plans here.

Meanwhile, the Manx Electric Railway has announced that its summer services will now operate though to Sunday, October 4, 2020 and you can see a full timetable here.

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