In this week’s news from the light rail sector – New travel to work scheme on the Fylde Coast, essential maintenance in the West Midlands, attractions return to Seaton Tramway and the LRSSB embarks on a new research project.
The light rail sector’s representative organisation is set to announce an Interim Chair after an Extraordinary Board Meeting next month, ahead of a long-term appointment later in 2023.
At a UKTram board meeting yesterday (January 19), members agreed to defer the appointment of a new long-term Chair to enable further discussions on the appointment process. Any proposals for changes to existing processes and structures will be shared with members in due course.
In the meantime, the UKTram team will continue to deliver on the objectives set out in its three-year business plan, which can be downloaded here.
In other light rail news:
A new Travel to Work Scheme enables customers to access all Blackpool Transport tickets for a discounted price.
Under the scheme tickets can be used on all Blackpool Transport buses and trams, and business with a workforce of more than five people, or anyone who works on the Fylde Coast, is eligible to join our scheme and benefit from better value travel. For full details of the initiative, click here.
West Midlands Metro
Due to essential maintenance works being carried out on the overhead lines, trams will not operate between Wednesbury Parkway and Edgbaston Village from the start of service until 11am on Sunday, January 22.During this time, Metro tickets and passes will be accepted on a number of buses and trains, and further details can be found here.
Tyne & Wear Metro
Metro services have resumed between Park Lane and South Hylton after Network Rail engineers completed the rebuild of a flood damaged electrical substation.
The entire facility, located at Pallion, needed to be rebuilt after it was significantly damaged by flooding when heavy rainfall hit the North East in November 2022.
The mix of water and electricity sparked a fire and meant that the substation – which takes energy from the National Grid and transforms it into lower voltage power for the overhead electric wires – was no longer safe to use. Click here to read more.
Proposed new systems
The ground-breaking Coventry Very Light Rail (CVLR) transport system is to be showcased on the streets of Coventry as part of a real–world testing programme following the approval of funding by regional transport bosses.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) board has agreed the first instalment of an expected £72m investment in the emerging VLR technology – designed to be both faster and cheaper to build than traditional tram and rail systems.
The board’s green light will also enable specialist on site testing for other VLR systems to move forward and you can read more here.
The Seaton Tramway website is now fully updated with 2023 timetables.Visitor favourites have returned with a few new events and experiences for this year,with great family days getting underway from February half–term.
Easter welcomes ‘The Fairy Tale Tram’ and ‘The Dinosaur Tram Adventure’ is also set for an exciting return. For full details of a packed programme of events and attractions, click here.
New technology with the potential to further reduce the risk of ‘trap and drag’ incidents on tramways and similar transit systems is to be subject to a comprehensive research project.
The organisation responsible for light rail safety in the UK is currently working with operators to establish the full scope of the initiative that is set to take shape early in 2023.
Through its Research and Development programme, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has drafted an outline project proposal to explore existing mitigation systems and best practice, as well as new technology and overall vehicle design, and you can read more here.
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