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Light rail news round up 28th January 2021 Thursday January 28, 2021

In this weeks light rail news – proposals for more stops on Metrolink, app payments for parking in Tyne & Wear, Sunday service on NET trams and reduced frequency on Sheffield Tram-Train, plus wildlife and art project at Seaton and new EMC guidance from LRSSB.

Sector-wide trials of a new prototype wearable device mark a major step forward for a pioneering project using biometric monitoring technology to further boost light rail safety.

Developed as part of the Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC), FOCUS+ uses ground-breaking technology to monitor fatigue levels of key employees and alert operators of other wellbeing issues that may impact on safety.

Led by Edinburgh Trams with the support of UKTram and a partnership of public and private sector organisations, a number of networks across the UK have already signed up to the initiative, with more set to take part in the coming months.

The project has already demonstrated its potential to make a huge contribution to further improving light rail safety, with initial trials providing a wealth of useful data and you can read the full story here.

In other light rail news:

Manchester Metrolink

Multi-million pound funding proposals to improve transport links are set to be considered by Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The proposals cover plans for potential new Metrolink stops as well as improving and developing rail stations and the bus network while delivering more electric vehicle charging points.

Alongside a suite of newly published plans for transport across the city region, the £69.5m Transforming Cities Fund 2 proposals, will help to better connect communities, open up opportunities, revitalise town centres and local economies whilst making neighbourhoods cleaner, greener and healthier.

The funding will also help support the city-region’s social and economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and you can read the full story here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Metro customers can now use a smartphone app to pay for parking across the network in a convenient and Covid-secure way.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has introduced PayByPhone at six park and ride sites to provide a cash free option that is simple and easy to use.

Cash-free parking is just the latest step Nexus has taken since the summer to give customers more convenient and covid-secure payment choices and you can find more details here.


In response to the most recent government coronavirus restrictions, Nottingham’s tram network has adjusted its timetable to provide a reliable and robust service that reflects current levels of demand.

The new, temporary timetable will see a modest reduction in the number of services, with trams every 10 minutes between 6.00am and 7.00pm and every 15 minutes from 7.00pm to 11.00pm and you can read the full story here.

Sheffield Supertram

Further changes have also been introduced to the Sheffield Supertram timetable with Tram-Train services now operating hourly Monday to Saturday.

Some later evening services are not operating with last departures from Cathedral now at 20.27 and from Parkgate at 20.59. You can see the full timetable here.


Seaton Tramway is inviting the local community to take part in the perfect stay at home project which celebrates the Wildlife and Art of the Axe Valley and East Devon.

A range of prizes are up for grabs in the Wild Arts Fair and entries are being invited across a range of categories, including photography, sculpture, drawing & painting, film & busic’, short stories & poetry.

Winning entries will also be put on display at Seaton Station between April 19 – 25 and you can read more here.


Updated guidance to help sponsors of new tramway systems to meet current legislation on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) has been published by the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board.

Before operations can begin, or new vehicles are introduced on existing systems, tests are required to ensure that the electromagnetic fields generated will not interfere with other electronic or radio equipment in the vicinity.

The latest guidance outlines these tests and steps that need to be taken to ensure infrastructure and vehicles meet the latest legislation and can be downloaded here.

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