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Global growth for light rail systems Friday May 12, 2023

Representatives of light rail networks from around the world gathered in Zaragoza recently for high-profile event featuring presentations by UKTram.

The organisation’s Managing Director, James Hammett, was among the guest speakers at the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) meeting in the Spanish city that attracted delegates from afar afield as America and Brazil.

As well as hearing from James about the challenges faced by UK tramways, metros and similar transit systems, they heard that, globally, there has been an annual six per cent increase in network size due to recent extension projects. In total there are now 403 cities operating light rail, with an average of 5.3 lines opening per year.

Other topics of conversation at the event included automation of light rail, digitising the sector, life cycle costs and obsolescence, accessibility for all and the training, recruitment and retention of staff.

“As well as helping us to strengthen links with colleagues from Europe and beyond, the event offered an opportunity to share best practice on a range of common challenges faced by light rail operators across the world,” James said.

“The lessons we learned from them, and any best practices, will be shared with UK members through various working groups,”  he added.