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Light Rail News Roundup 19th November 2021 Friday November 19, 2021

In this week’s light rail news – major recruitment drive in Edinburgh, Bee Network tour seeks views on transport in Greater Manchester, Metro worker helps switch on Newcastle’s Christmas lights and LRSSB publishes draft of overhead line manual.

Following the success of this year’s extended Light Rail Summit in Edinburgh, UKTram and the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board have announced plans for an even more ambitious event in 2022.

To be staged in Manchester on Thursday, September 15, the next summit will again include top-level debate featuring leading figures from across the sector, alongside a wealth of networking opportunities.

As it was this year, the event will also be preceded by a day of UKTram working group meetings, bringing together experts in light rail engineering, operations, and other disciplines at the same venue.

Jamie Swift, UKTram Marketing and Commercial Manager, said that although plans are still at an early stage, the 2022 summit promises to be another landmark event for light rail and you can read more here.

In other light rail news:

Edinburgh Trams

The network operator is launching a major recruitment campaign as part of a drive to hire twenty Ticketing Service Assistants.

Successful candidates will be responsible for helping to deliver ‘Excellence for Edinburgh’, while protecting the organisation’s revenue and ensuring our customers receive the very best travelling experience.

As the city’s tram operator recovers from the pandemic and ahead of a major expansion of the network, the campaign will continue throughout the coming months when more tram drivers and engineers will also be required, as reported here.

Manchester Metrolink

Over the past four weeks, the Destination: Bee Network bus has been touring across Greater Manchester gathering people’s opinions on how to transform the way people travel in the region.

The Bee Network is a vision for an integrated London-style transport system which will join together buses, trams, cycling and walking by 2024, with rail incorporated by 2030.

The Destination Bee Network tour kicked off on October 11 and has since travelled around to various travel interchanges, bus stations and events across the ten local authorities. An online survey was also launched at the same time to ensure the views and opinions of as many Greater Manchester residents were captured and you can read more here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A Nexus worker has had the honour of switching on the Christmas lights in Newcastle, getting the festive season into full swing.

John Drummond, a maintenance staffer on the Metro network, was one of three key workers who were selected to carry out the big switch on.

John was joined by an A&E nurse from the RVI, Bethany Foster, and local headteacher Rob Harker to flick the switch in front of the excited crowds on Grey Street. They were invited as a gesture of thanks for the efforts of everyone who worked in frontline roles during lockdown. The full story can be found here.


Building on the work of a light rail engineering group, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has completed the first draft of a new publication covering the management of a key element of tramway infrastructure.

The Overhead Line Best Practice manual is now subject to peer review and is expected to be published before the end of the year.

The focus of the project has been to compare overhead line equipment maintenance techniques carried out by UK networks to build a clear set of recommendations and you can read more here.

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