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Light rail news roundup Wednesday October 7, 2020

In your round up of Light Rail News this week – it’s Customer Service Week in Edinburgh, the end of Sheffield track works, Luas publishes a ‘Modern Day Guide to Tram Etiquette’, and it’s free admission to Crich Tramway Village for local residents. 

UKTram News

Working in partnership with employers across the light rail sector, UKTram has developed a new set of National Occupational Standards (NOS) for drivers.

Drawing on expertise from sector professions, specialist consultants and other relevant organisations, they are part of a wider UKTram NOS project that aims to benchmark the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to undertake various roles to a recognised level of competence.

Approval and publication of these new standards represent a major step forward in our efforts to promote best practice, and you can read the full story here.


UKTram would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to one of the best-known figures in the heritage sector on reaching a landmark birthday.

Geoffrey Claydon recently celebrated his 90th birthday and remains as active and influential as ever within tramway world as the Chairman of UKTram’s Heritage Committee.

Best wishes to Geoffrey from all at UKTram!


In other light rail news:

Edinburgh Trams

The network has joined in with celebrations to mark Customer Service Week, led by the Institute of Customer Service.

In an online message to customers, Customer Experience Manager Dean Anderson explained that Edinburgh Trams joined the Institute several years ago, and the organisation has helped the tramway develop a world-class customer service model.

With the support of the ICS, it has improved the experience of customers and colleagues alike, and you can read Dean’s full message here.

Sheffield Supertram

A full timetable has been reintroduced on Sheffield Supertram following the completion of this year’s rail replacement works.

From this week normal services are in operation on the Blue, Yellow and Purple routes as well as the Tram Train route, and you can read the full story here.

Docklands Light Railway

Local politicians have expressed relief that the £800m project to extend the Docklands Light Railway to Thamesmead is set to remain part of Transport for London’s pitch for emergency Government funding.

The project has been described as a ‘vital’ part of London’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in media reports.

The DLR extension was among the projects prioritised in a document, Investment to get London and the UK moving again, which was discussed at a recent TfL board meeting. You can read more here.

Luas Dublin

A ‘Modern-Day Guide to Tram Etiquette’ has been launched by Luas Dublin.

As well as reminding customers of the coronavirus guidelines, it covers other suggested behaviours that contribute to making journeys more pleasurable for all. It also requests customers refrain from putting their feet on seats, playing loud music and blocking doors.

You can find out more about the guide here. 

Tyne & Wear Metro

A campaigner who was the driving force behind the stunning restoration of Tynemouth Station has been honoured with North Tyneside’s top award – the Freedom of the Borough.

More than 40 years ago, Ylana First took up the fight to save the historic station, which was at risk of being partly demolished and turned into a platform halt.

She helped set up the Friends of Tynemouth Station and launched a petition to save the structure, which dates back to 1882, as well as the introduction of the weekly markets and book fairs. Ylana played an instrumental role in the campaign to have the unique Grade II* listed station and its expanse of ornate, glazed, cast iron canopies restored.

You can read all about her good work here.

Extension Projects

Work on the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension is set to accelerate with the demolition of another major structure along the route.

Progress on the much-anticipated project has continued through the summer, and the upcoming demolition of the redundant railway bridge in Coneygree Road, Tipton, will mark another major step forward. The work follows the successful removal of a similar structure along the disused South Staffordshire Railway line, in August.

Works to remove the bridge are set to start next week, when the extension’s construction team will begin a three-week project to clear overgrowth to enable access to the area before the bridge is taken down. A new, purpose-built structure will be installed later in the construction programme.

For further updates on the project, visit


Crich Tramway Village will be offering free admission to local residents as part of its Community Day celebrations this weekend.

On Sunday, anyone living within five miles of the tramway can enjoy a range of activities, and all they have to do is show proof of their address, such as a driving licence or utility bill.

Entry covers two adults and up to three children from the same household, and the full story can be found here.


Raising the profile of the organisation and building even closer relationships with key partners will be top priorities for the new Chief Executive of the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board.

Carl Williams, who started in his new role last week, says he intends to build on the work already done to put the LRSSB front and centre of efforts to further enhance safety across the sector.

He says the organisation has a pivotal role to play in driving safety standards, and I’m looking forward to working with colleagues from across the sector and other organisations, including the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and Office of Rail and Road, to ensure we achieve our goals.

You can read the full story here.

UKTram Member updates

Following on from a summer webinar programme designed to help the sector achieve more rail life with less track maintenance, British Steel’s Rail Technologies team is returning with a new series of autumn dates.

The lunchtime sessions were introduced back in June to help customers address the challenges of higher traffic volumes, heavier axle loads and faster train speeds.The autumn seminars offer something a bit different, going back to basics with a look at rail manufacturing, examining grade selection and exploring a range of welding techniques for different applications.

The next seminar takes place on Tuesday, October  20, and is entitled Ensuring weld integrity: joining. Further seminars are planned for November 2 and 17.

To tune into the next sessions, please register here.


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