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Light Rail News Roundup 26th November 2021 Friday November 26, 2021

In light rail news this week – Edinburgh Trams gets you to Christmas attractions, temporary service reductions in Sheffield, customers told to make alternative travel plans as Metro service suspension continues, 30th anniversary for Tyne & Wear’s airport line and early proposals to run former tube trains in Rossendale.

A popular competition run by a tram sector website is inviting entries in four award categories.

Conceived as a bit of fun at the end of the year the British Trams Online Tram of the Year competition originally sought to find the tramcar which had done something ‘special’ over the previous 12 months.

Although there has never been a full definition of what ‘special’ actually means, over the years winners have included tramcars which have had a repaint, re-entered service or been on loan away from their home tramway.

In recent years additional categories have been added and this year entries are being sought for the following:

  • Tram (Traditional) of the Year
  • Tram (Modern) of the Year
  • Tramway of the Year
  • Event of the Year

Submissions 2021 must be received by Saturday, December 4, and full details, including information on how to enter, can be found here

In other light rail news:

Edinburgh Trams

The city’s Christmas attractions have returned to the city, and the tram is on hand to make travelling an unforgettable winter experience.

With festive food and drink and the market located in East Princes Street Gardens, Santa Land in West Princes Street Gardens and the Ice Rink returning to George Street, Princes Street tram stop is just a short walk away from all the attractions.

Families heading into the City can save money by purchasing a ‘Family Day Tripper’ ticket which allows a day’s tram travel for up to 2 adults plus up to 3 under 16s at only £7.50 and you can read more here.

Sheffield Supertram

As with many industries across the country, driver shortages are having an impact on Supertram services and the operator has made some temporary timetable changes to maintain the reliability of key services.

Since Sunday, November 28 BLUE and YELLOW route services have run every 20 minutes, Monday to Saturday, from start of service, with a peak/daytime frequency every 12 minutes and evening frequency every 30 minutes.

On Sundays there are services every 20 minutes until evening frequency reduces to every 30 minutes. Combined Monday to Saturday daytime frequency between Hillsborough and City every 6 minutes and 15 minutes in the evenings.

PURPLE route services operate hourly all day every day except Sunday daytime, which has a frequency of every 30 minutes until evening frequency reduces back to hourly and there is no change to the current TRAM TRAIN timetable. The full story can be found here.

West Midlands Metro

West Midlands Metro customers affected by the recent service suspension are being encouraged to make plans to use alternative modes of transport to complete their journey.

Since trams were withdrawn on November 13 for essential repairs, the operator has been working with Transport for West Midlands to ensure Metro tickets and passes are being accepted on many local buses and trains. However, these arrangements will come to an end on Sunday, December 5. More information can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

The Tyne and Wear Metro is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its extension to Newcastle Airport, a line which has carried 7.5 million customers over the last three decades.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the airport line was one of the more important projects in the history of the Metro service.

The £12m scheme, opened on November 17, 1991, provides one of the fastest airport to city centre transfers in the country and millions of holidaymakers and business travellers have benefited from it over the years as the airport itself has grown. The full story can be found here.

Proposed new systems

A new rail link connecting Manchester’s Metrolink with Rossendale could use parts from ‘recently retired’ London Underground trains.

Early proposals for the project include plans to reuse old ‘upcycled’ body shells and chassis from former tube trains to create a fleet of small battery-powered vehicles.

As reported here, Rossendale Council was given the go-ahead to create a strategic outline business case for a new rail link, with £150,000 funding from the Department for Transport and Lancashire County Council.

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