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Light Rail news roundup 19th May 2023 Friday May 19, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Familiar voices on Manchester Metrolink, partnership to promote safer travel in Nottingham, extra trams for Beyoncé’s concert in Edinburgh and Beamish Tramway celebrates landmark anniversary.


Representatives from a key Department for Transport ‘Taskforce’ will be among the keynote speakers at a high-profile event later this year for light rail leaders.

The agenda for UKTrams’ Light Rail Summit on September 21 is now taking shape, and members of the Transport Employment Skills Taskforce (TEST) are set to be joined by speakers from Women in Transport, vehicle manufacturer and service provider ZF, and Transport for West Midlands.

Lorraine George, UKTram Business Manager, said this year’s summit is already shaping up to become our most diverse yet and you can find out more here.

In other light rail news:

Manchester Metrolink 

Passengers riding on the Metrolink this week can expect to hear some familiar voices making guest announcements on the tram network in the leadup to this year’s AJ Bell Great Manchester Run.

Ahead of running his last ever race in Manchester, four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah will be taking over the Metrolink airwaves alongside Commonwealth Games champion Eilish McColgan to share travel advice ahead of the event’s 20th anniversary on Sunday, May 21.

The decorated duo will be encouraging people to ‘get on your marks, get set, ‘mo!’ and plan ahead of what will be a busy day on the transport network in Manchester, Trafford and Salford. For the full story, click here.


An important partnership has been formed between Nottingham’s tram network and the Consent Coalition to help promote safer travel around the city.

NET is the first transport operator in the city to become a supporter of the Consent Coalition, a group of 30 Nottingham organisations, working together to raise awareness of the importance of consent, and challenge misinformation around sexual violence.

Launched in 2020, the collective also works hard to encourage sexual violence survivors to access vital support and you can read the full story here.

Edinburgh Trams

When Beyoncé takes to the stage in Edinburgh this weekend, fans can be sure of convenient travel to the long-awaited concert thanks to Edinburgh Trams.

The award-winning tramway will be laying on extra services on the night of the global superstar’s performance at the BT Murrayfield stadium, part of her first solo headline tour in seven years.

In addition to a three-minute service before and after the concert on Saturday (May 20), fans can also take advantage of a range of great-value ticket offers and you can find more details here.

Docklands Light Railway

An MP has written a letter to Mark Harper urging the government to speed up the process of extending the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Thamesmead according to media reports.

MP Abena Oppong-Asare’s letter to the UK transport secretary states that extending the DLR would reduce movement barriers between east London, southeast London and the wider Thames Estuary area.

Considerations to extend the DLR from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead have been ongoing for some time and the full report can be found on the New Civil Engineer website here.

Tyne & Wear Metro 

Whitley Bay Metro station’s historic canopy is to be restored to its former glory in a £5.3m restoration project.

The Grade II listed structure, which dates back to the Edwardian era, will undergo a major programme of restoration work which will see the glazing replaced and the steel work refurbished.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages the Tyne and Wear Metro, obtained planning permission to carry out major works on the listed station building last year, and has appointed Buckingham Group following a detailed procurement process.

As reported here, the station will remain open to customers for the duration of the works.


The Beamish Tramway has reached a major historical milestone, having clocked up 50 years of operation and is close to becoming the longest running of all tramways in the north east of England!

To celebrate the 50th anniversary a special event was planned at the museum over the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend (6th to 8th May) which saw all four operational trams in action along with a number of buses. The full story can be found at British Trams Online here.


Light rail safety professionals have been given an insightful demonstration of an innovative system that combines obstacle detection with overspeed monitoring and collision avoidance technology.

At a recent meeting in Blackpool, members of the sector’s Heads of Safety Group were given the chance to witness Alstom’s Collision and Overspeed Monitoring and Prevention Assistance System (COMPAS) in operation.

Currently being tested on trams in the town, COMPAS builds on Alstom’s existing Obstacle Detection Assistance System (ODAS) and enables the tram driver to utilise digital track data and visual odometry to operate the tram in pre-defined speed limits. For the full story, click here.

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