In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Customers have their say on dogs on trams in Manchester, industrial action in the West Midlands, NET enforces parking rules and employee awards in Edinburgh.
A “hugely beneficial” plan to develop a training package on overhead line equipment (OLE) has been welcomed by members of the UKTram Engineering Group.
Organised to coincide with UKTram’s recent summit, in Manchester, the group’s most recent meeting was well attended by engineers from across the sector.
As well as discussing the potential of the training package to support the sector in raising levels of OLE competence, the group also welcomed UKTram’s recently appointed Lead Engineer, Phil Terry. Tony Marsden from Blackpool took up the position of Vice-Chairman of the Group and you can read more about the meeting here.
There are also more stories from UKTram in the latest issue of the OnTrack newsletter. Published this week is contains all the recent stories from ‘the voice of light rail’ and the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board, and can be viewed here.
In other light rail news:
Customers are being urged to have their say on a pilot scheme allowing pet dogs on trams before a Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) survey closes at the end of this month.
Since the beginning of August, a pilot scheme has permitted dogs to travel on the Metrolink network subject to rules regarding safety, cleanliness and consideration of other passengers are followed.
The scheme has been delivered in partnership with tram operator KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM) and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
More than 2,000 people – including dog owners and those without dogs – have already responded to the online survey, which will close on October 31 and you can read more here.
West Midlands Metro
Due to industrial action by members of Unite union, West Midlands Metro is planning to operate a reduced timetable on four dates in October.
On Saturday, October 15, and Saturday, October 22, trams will run every 15 minutes between Wolverhampton St George and Bull Street in Birmingham from around 08.30am until around 5.00pm.
On Tuesday, October 18, and Thursday, October 20, a 15-minute service will also be in operation between Wolverhampton and Bull Street, starting at around 07.30am and running until approximately 6.00pm.
A full statement from the operator can be found here.
Nottingham’s tram network has launched a new campaign targeting inconsiderate motorists who break NET’s car parking rules, with warnings that they risk having their vehicle clamped or even towed away.
From this week the network operator will be stepping up enforcement patrols at its Forest Park and Ride site to deter drivers from misusing the facilities or leaving their car without buying a valid tram ticket.
New signage has also been installed to inform motorists of the byelaws regulating the facility, and to highlight that unlawful parking could result in a £140 vehicle release fee or a charge of £200 if the vehicle needs to be removed from the site. For the full story, click here.
Members of the Edinburgh Trams team have been recognised for assisting vulnerable members of the public.
Tram Driver Michael Goodfellow quickly leapt into action after receiving news that an elderly customer had fallen and badly hurt her wrists while Ticketing Service Assistant.
Ticketing Service Assistant Flor San Jose Fernandez has also received a ‘Tramtastic’ award for comforting another elderly customer who had fallen on the tram while heading towards Edinburgh Airport.
On reaching Departures, Flor San Jose Fernandez remained with the customers for around two hours after her shift had ended, and you can read the full story here.
Tyne & Wear Metro
A commemorative plaque that was unveiled by Her Majesty The Queen when she carried out the official opening of the Tyne and Wear Metro has been restored to its former glory.
The brass plate, which is located in the Metro concourse at Gateshead Interchange, has been given a deep clean, buffed back up to a mirror-like shine, and is gleaming once again.
As reported here, two track engineering apprentices – Daniel Noble, 19, of South Shields, and Oliver Humphries 19, of Seaham, – were given the task of cleaning the plaque.
Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, undertook the work as a mark of respect following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in September.
Seaton Tramway is seeking a motivated, flexible, organised team player to assist with and learn all elements relating to the maintenance of the permanent way.
The role includes an exciting opportunity to develop personal and practical skills to enable the post holder to become an experienced and valued member of the Engineering Department.
Previous experience within an engineering workplace or railway environment preferred, but not essential and further details can be found here.
To be included in the next round-up, or the Members News section of the UKTram website, send your press releases to email@example.com.