In light rail news this week – support grows for the ‘Stourbridge Dasher’, NET donates future ‘antiques’, services resume on West Midlands Metro, Luas supports Pride month, fundraising appeal from Blackpool Heritage and medical fitness guidance issued by LRSSB.
Recovery from the pandemic, and supporting staff with continuing testing, vaccinations and self-isolation, continue to challenge HR professionals in the light rail sector.
As operators consider how and when non-operational staff should return to their offices, training, assessments and changes to procedures made necessary by Covid guidance have also been highlighted by members of the UKTram HR Group.
Held online, the latest meeting included representatives from NET, Manchester Metrolink, West Midlands Metro, Edinburgh Trams, Sheffield Supertram, Blackpool Transport and Croydon Tramlink and heard that most networks are now running a full timetable, with furloughed staff returning to work.
Recruitment was another important topic for discussion and you can read more about the meeting here.
In other light rail news:
The proposed ‘Stourbridge Dasher’ service has been backed by Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb, Dudley South MP Mike Wood and also received support from the WMCA Leader Andy Street earlier this year before his re-election.
Pre Metro’s proposed public passenger service would run on the railway route to Brierley Hill using a Very Light Rail vehicle, and the cost of running such a service would be around 50% cheaper than traditional heavy rail operations.
The service is perfectly feasible and would make the lives of locals easier; it would also help with the decarbonisation of the railway industry, and improve the air quality and environment within the Black Country.
The full story can be found here.
Future ‘antiques’ from across Nottingham’s tram network are being preserved for posterity.
Following a refresh of signage that’s been in use since the return of trams to the city in 2004, original NET signs are to be put on display at Crich Tramway Village alongside light rail memorabilia from earlier eras.
The donation to the popular museum follows a suggestion by tram driver Ryan Breen who, when he’s not behind the controls of a modern NET tram, works as a volunteer at Crich and you can read the full story here.
West Midlands Metro
Following last week’s suspension of service when maintenance checks discovered a fault affecting a number of trams, West Midlands Metro resumed operations on Tuesday with Trams operating between Wolverhampton and Bull Street.
From Sunday, trams will serve all stops while checks on the full Urbos 3 fleet continue. Updates are available on the Metro website here.
As spirits lift around the country with the gradual easing of covid restrictions, the network has welcomed welcome a month of celebrations and reflection for the LGBTQ+ community.
With restrictions still in place around large gatherings, Luas won’t be transporting customers to the Dublin Pride festival this year, where thousands of LGBTQ+ people and allies of the community would normally come together to celebrate in person.
However, the Digital Dublin Pride Festival celebrates the theme of ‘Community’, with events taking place through the month and is sponsored by the National Transport Authority. The operator says it proud to support this years message of ‘Let’s celebrate how far we’ve come and join us on the journey to a more inclusive society’ and you can read more here.
Blackpool Transport is appealing for help in preserving the town’s light rail heritage that’s been part of its history since 1885.
It is aiming to raise a million pounds to replace the Heritage Depot roof and is now seeking a million people around the world who will all donate a pound.
The full story, and information on how to help can be found here.
Drawing on extensive consultations with safety professionals from across the light rail sector, comprehensive guidance on the management of workplace medical fitness for tram drivers has now been published.
The latest guidance document from the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board covers best practice, current legislation, and risk assessments from operators in light rail and related sectors.
It also provides vital information on assessing the medical suitability of employees responsible for operating a vehicle and you can read the full story, and a link to the LRG here.
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