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Group plans for the unexpected Friday December 16, 2022

Managing unexpected malfunctions of critical tramway infrastructure or equipment is to be the subject of a series of best practice workshops for network operators.

Planned for early in 2023, they will be led by the UKTram Operations Group and look at a range of different scenarios that require contingency planning.

Steve Duckering, Operations Manager at UKTram, explained: “Although uncommon, network-wide disruption incidents can happen due to factors beyond the operator’s control, including adverse weather or community-wide power outages.

“From radio communication faults to signalling failures, there are also technical issues that can bring a tramway or similar transit systems to a standstill, and it is vital that plans are put in place to ensure that services are safely restored as quickly as possible with minimum disruption for customers.

“These workshops will enable professionals from across light to share their experience and expertise to help colleagues identify potential network risks and to put effective mitigation plans in place.”

The workshop proposals were discussed at the Group’s December meeting, which was hosted by Dublin’s Luas system and involved representatives from Croydon, Nottingham, Manchester, Blackpool who also discussed innovative ticketing offers designed to boost patronage recovery and help customers during the cost-of-living crisis.

“It was heartening to hear operators reporting that customer numbers are continuing to increase, boosted by the approach of the festive season, people returning to workplaces following the Covid-19 pandemic and a host of initiatives to ensure light rail remains one of the most cost-effective modes of urban travel,” Steve added.

The meeting also included an update Simon Lomax, Principal Inspector of Rail Accidents at the Rail Accident Investigation Branch who updated members on recent investigations carried out by the organisation.