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Light rail news roundup 10th September 2021 Friday September 10, 2021

In this week’s light rail news – Rugby kicks off in new ground next to Edinburgh tram stop, weekly contactless capping launches in Manchester, four additional trains for Metro fleet and appeal for funds to help repair Blackpool tram sheds.  

With stunning views across St Andrew Square and out to Firth of Forth, the fourth floor Brasserie in the city’s famous Harvey Nichols department store will see delegates gather to unwind following the Light Rail Summit on 23rd September.

The reception, which starts at 6.00pm, also provides the ideal opportunity to network with colleagues from across the sector following a day of top-level debate on the future of tramways and other urban transit systems.

Admission to the reception is included in the cost of attending the summit, organised jointly by UKTram and the LRSSB, and a few tickets remain for the eagerly anticipated event.

Available from the new UKTram ‘Shop’ at, and priced at just £99 for UKTram and LRSSB members (£199 for non-members), tickets also include a walking tour of the Trams To Newhaven project on 24th September, plus free tram travel throughout the event – including transfers from Edinburgh Airport.

In other light rail news:

West Midlands Metro

Work to improve step-free access at two busy tram stops in the West Midlands has now been completed with successful upgrades to lifts at Bilston Central and Lodge Road.

The lifts at both Bilston Central and Lodge Road are now fully operational again after essential work to provide a more reliable service for customers who have difficulty using the steps and you can read more here.

Edinburgh Trams

Fans heading for Edinburgh Rugby’s first match at their brand-new stadium are being urged to travel by tram to the pre-season game against Newcastle Falcons.

The game on Saturday (11th September) starts at 3pm and Edinburgh Trams will be running services from every 7 minutes.

Supporters can avoid the traffic and parking hassle by leaving their cars at Ingliston Park and Ride, which offers free parking with over 1000 spaces available, and trams running a fast, frequent service to Murrayfield tram stop, right next to the ground.

The match marks the start of a series of pre-season fixtures and will take place at the Edinburgh Rugby Stadium (ERS), which sits in the shadow of BT Murrayfield, and you can read more here.

Manchester Metrolink

Metrolink passengers can now make the most of flexible travel across Greater Manchester thanks to a new weekly capping system across the network.

The Bee Flex Weekly is the latest flexible ticketing option launched by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and is ideal for commuters. It allows people to make unlimited Metrolink journeys across all zones Monday to Sunday and never pay more than a seven-day travel pass for those zones.

Further details about the new tickets can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Operator Nexus has confirmed an order for four additional trains for the new Tyne and Wear Metro fleet as manufacturing by Stadler has officially began.

The new order brings to 46 the number of trains Stadler will deliver as part of a £362m programme which will transform the journey experience for Metro customers.

The first new train will arrive in 2022 and is set to enter passenger service in mid-2023, delivering a step-change in quality and reliability.

Stadler, the Swiss train builder, officially began the manufacturing process ahead of assembly at its factories at the end of the year. Scores of components are being supplied by firms in North East England, the UK and mainland Europe and the full story can be found here.


Heritage Tram Tours are as much a part of Blackpool’s history as the Tower and Fish and Chips and the operator is thanking everyone who has supported its latest fundraising appeal.

The long-term aim is to transform the current tram sheds into a heritage visitor centre, and they currently play an important role in existing operations. In June a fundraiser was launched to repair the shed roof and for a full update, click here.

Meanwhile, in the Isle of Man, this October will see a new event taking place between October 27 and 31 – the Manx Heritage Winter Transport Festival.

The event provides the opportunity to see the island’s heritage railways at the end of the season with a number of special events taking place including on the Manx Electric Railway and Douglas Bay Horse Tramway.

These include behind the scenes tours and a host of other activities, and you can read the full story here.

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