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Light rail news roundup 28th May 2021 Friday May 28, 2021

In this weeks light rail news – timetable changes in Blackpool for Talbot Square works, NET asks customers to ‘trust the tram’, driver recruitment campaign in Edinburgh, new Ops Director for Tyne & Wear and a new look Blackpool Heritage Tours is back on the tracks!

Training for tram drivers is set for a major boost with the launch of a new project by UKTram.

In July, the organisation will start working with colleagues from across the sector to develop a new set of standards for the people who train them.

Part of a wider National Occupational Standards project, the initiative will see publication of new guidelines setting out the key responsibilities of tram driver trainers, as well as required competencies.

It follows on from the recent publication of the NOS for drivers and you can read the full story here.

In other light rail news:

Blackpool Transport

Extension works have started in Talbot Square as part of plans to connect the town’s tramway with Blackpool North train station and the Talbot Gateway development.

The work is expected to last three weeks and see some changes to services.

Trams will stop running a little earlier than normal every evening between Monday and Thursday each week and Morning tram services will start slightly later than normal between Tuesday and Friday. On Monday mornings, Friday evenings and at weekends, the service will run as normal, and you can read more here.


Following the easing of restrictions under Step 3 of the Government’s Covid Roadmap, the network is encouraging members of the public to ‘Trust the Tram’ as they return to work and leisure activities.

NET says it’s continued to operate throughout the pandemic, enabling key workers to get safely to and from work. Social distancing, mask-wearing and extra cleansing of tram vehicles have all been implemented to provide reassurance to passengers that trams remain safe.

Now it’s running a full timetable and you can read the story here.

Edinburgh Trams

As services steadily increase the operator is looking for tram drivers to join its Operations Department.

They’ll be primarily responsible for operating services from Edinburgh Gateway (near Gogar Tram Depot) to York Place in the city centre and Edinburgh Airport. From 2023, they’ll also be driving trams along almost 5km of new track to Newhaven and you can find out more here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

The Tyne and Wear Metro has appointed a new operations director, who brings three decades of railway industry experience to the role.

John Alexander has taken over the responsibility for managing day to day services on the Metro network following a successful recruitment process.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said they had found the best candidate as the service recovers from lockdown – and prepares for the arrival of its new train fleet from 2023.

John, 45, who began his railway career as an apprentice engineer aged 16 and you can read more about the appointment here.


Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours has returned to operations with a new look.

A new logo, fresh colours and a refresh of the website have been unveiled, together with some great new tours.

However, the iconic trams will keep the same colours customers know and love and you can read the full story here.


Light rail in the UK has the potential to lead the way in driving up global safety standards, thanks to continued sector-wide collaboration led by the LRSSB.

Over the past 12 months, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has delivered on wide ranging projects to benefit existing and future UK networks and is now well set to build on a series of landmark achievements.

Following the publication of its Annual Report, the organisation’s Chief Executive, Carl Williams, said the systems and processes it has developed and introduced – together with new guidance and ongoing research and development – puts the country at the forefront of moves to raise international standards and improve benchmarking.

The full story can be found here.

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