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Light rail news roundup Thursday October 15, 2020

In this weeks round-up of light rail news – engineering recruitment for West Midlands Metro expansion, Luas warns pedestrians of crossing dangers, lengthening platforms at Tyne & Wear and Government grant lifeline for Seaton Tramway. 

Continued funding for Edinburgh Trams and Glasgow Subway has been welcomed by UKTram, which has pressed for support for the light rail sector throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Government this week pledged a further £4million of emergency funding for the two systems in response to the ongoing financial impacts of COVID-19.

The announcement of the latest emergency measures – which are additional to the £9 million announced in July – follows detailed discussions between Transport Scotland and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and Transport for Edinburgh.

The funding will be in place until the end of 2020, and George Lowder, Chair of UKTram and Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, says it will help to maintain essential services. For the full response of UKTram to the announcement, click here.

In other light rail news:

West Midlands Metro

West Midlands Metro is looking to recruit four more engineers as the network prepares for further expansion.

Operator, Midland Metro Limited, is looking to recruit four more engineers as the network prepares for further expansion.

It’s aiming to take on enthusiastic, talented people with the specialist skills needed to maintain infrastructure and rolling stock – both now and in the future.

It’s latest recruitment campaign features opportunities for an Infrastructure Rail (Permanent Way & Overhead Line) Engineer, Maintenance Technician, Infrastructure Production Engineer and a Fleet Introduction Engineer.

All four roles offer competitive salaries and benefit packages that include free travel on the Metro and bus for you and your partner, pension, life insurance and discounted gym membership and car servicing.

Full details about the vacancies on offer and information on how to apply can be found here.

Luas Dublin

With darker evenings approaching, the network has issued a reminder to all pedestrians who walk near Luas to be extra vigilant when crossing Luas tracks.

Luas runs through some of the busiest areas Dublin and its suburbs and, although it has an excellent safety record, it’s reminding both customers and others in the city of the importance of focussing on their surroundings.

It says its drivers are trained in defensive driving; however, distracted pedestrians stepping out in front of oncoming trams is something they see regularly.

You can read more on the networks latest safety campaign here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Major works are taking place to get station platforms ready for the new Metro train fleet and its revolutionary sliding step at each door.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, is carrying out platform compliance work at 40 out of its 60 stations as part of a £2m programme.

It involves tracks being adjusted so that the new Metro trains will fit smoothly into station platforms and the work includes track being either lowered or heightened to ensure that they are at the correct gauge for the new rolling stock, which is set to arrive in 2023.

You can read the full story here.


Seaton Tramway is set to receive a lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.

The tramway is one of 445 heritage organisations that will share £103 million from the fund to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

An award of £435,100 for Seaton will directly support wages, major overheads such as track and tram maintenance and the creation of new offers and opportunities with world class partners and exhibitions.

You can read the full story here.

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