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Light Rail news roundup 12th May 2023 Friday May 12, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – A disability design group in Manchester, a career milestone for Assistant Safety Manager, Ross Crawford, at Edinburgh Trams, successful testing of new trains in Tyne and Wear and Blackpool’s heritage trams join coronation parade.


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 and you can read more here.

In other light rail news:

Edinburgh Trams

As the Edinburgh Trams team gears up for the launch of the first services to Newhaven, the completion of the landmark project represents another important milestone in the career of Assistant Safety Manager, Ross Crawford.

Having previously worked in a local call centre, Ross joined Edinburgh Trams as a Ticketing Assistant in 2014, just a month after the first trams started running on the existing line between the airport and the city centre.

Within six months he started training as a driver and has since risen through the ranks of the organisation and you can read his story here.

Manchester Metrolink

People with disabilities living in Greater Manchester are being invited to apply to join an award-winning advisory group which plays a key role in helping to ensure that public transport and active travel is accessible to all.

The Disability Design Reference Group (DDRG), which is independently managed by Breakthrough UK on behalf of Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), is recruiting for paid members, with applications open until Friday, June 9.

The DDRG was set up in 2008 to assist with designing requirements for an integrated, accessible transport network, with a particular focus at that time on Metrolink and further details can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

The new Stadler Metro train has successfully completed its first test run on the network as part of the detailed preparations to get it ready for entering service at the end of the year.

The testing, which is the latest phase of the £362m new Metro fleet programme, took place during the early hours of the morning on a section of line between South Gosforth and Monkseaton. It was the first time that the new Metro train has had a run on the mainline.

The Stadler Class 555 Metro train, the first of 46 that Nexus has on order, is undergoing a period of testing and driver training before entering service for customers and you can read more here.


For the second major joyous royal celebration in a row, a selection of Blackpool’s heritage trams have been used for a parade from Pleasure Beach to Little Bispham with a stopover at the Comedy Carpet for photos.

As reported here, the parade took place on Sunday, May 7, with eleven trams running after a good clean to ensure they looked their best for the coronation weekend.

To be included in the next round-up, or the Members News section of the UKTram website, send your press releases to