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Light rail news round up 4th February 2021 Thursday February 4, 2021

In light rail news this week – vaccination centre at NET park & ride site, concession pass restrictions eased in the West Midlands, kids pack from Blackpool, new Tyne & Wear trains to be manufactured from later this year and LRSSB updates members with latest newsletter.

An ambitious project to develop and refresh new standards for light rail engineering roles has received a positive response from professionals across the sector.

UKTram has now received feedback on a series of draft National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Rolling Stock and Infrastructure Technicians.

Engineering Manager Craig O’Brien says the organisation has received a healthy and positive level of response to around 40 standards circulated for review in December.

The next stage of the project is to submit the standards for approval, and you can read the full story here.

In other light rail news:


Nottingham’s tram network is backing a big push to protect local people from Covid-19 through the use of its Forest Park and Ride site as a vaccination centre.

Andrew Conroy, chief operating officer at NET, says the Forest Park and Ride site is an ideal choice for a vaccination centre as it’s located near the centre of Nottingham with plenty of space and good access.

People travelling to be vaccinated can use the tram to access the centre and the car park is still open and fully operational for NET customers.

You can read the full story here.

West Midlands Metro

Peak time restrictions on concessionary tram passes in the West Midlands will be lifted during the early morning rush hour to make it easier for the older citizens and vulnerable people to get to early morning vaccine appointments.

Over 70s and those classified as clinically extremely vulnerable are being invited to get their Covid-19 jabs at a growing number of vaccine centres throughout the region. However, travel under the English National Concessionary Pass (ENCTS) is normally only valid for journeys taken after 9.30am.

Now Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has joined forces with the Metro and bus operators to remove the peak time restriction for vaccine appointments and you can read more here.

Blackpool Transport

The town’s transport operator is helping to keep local youngsters entertained over the winter months with the launch of a new ‘Kids Pack’

While Blackpool Transport says it can’t wait to see its customers again, it’s created an engaging pack with puzzles and colouring page to entertain and educate children while current travel restrictions remain in place.

All that’s needed to join in the fun is a printer and colouring pens or a laptop/tablet with ‘paint’ or similar and you can find out more here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

The first of a new fleet of trains for Tyne & Wear Metro will be manufactured this year, operator Nexus has reported.

The update was made on the anniversary of the announcement of a £362m contract with Swiss train builder Stadler.

The manufacture of the 42 new trains will start in August 2021, and they will be fully delivered by the end of 2024, transforming performance and passenger experience on the Metro and you can read the full story here.


The implications of Brexit on light rail safety standards are among the topics put under the spotlight in the latest issue of the LRSSB newsletter.

The first issue of 2021 also includes information on the publication of new guidance documents covering audible warnings and tramway signage, as well as news of an innovative project utilising the very latest wearable technology.

There’s also information on how operators can now benefit from LRSSB-funded research and you can read all about it here.

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