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Light Rail news roundup 9th June 2023 Friday June 9, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector –  First customers head for Newhaven following successful route launch, industrial action suspended in Manchester, news on Docklands extension and the LRSSB attends Westminster event.

In other light rail news:

Edinburgh Trams

With the launch of passenger services to Newhaven this week, the Edinburgh Trams team stands ready to introduce its award-winning brand of service excellence to tens of thousands of new customers.

With eight new stops, the expanded tramway now provides a convenient link between the city centre and some of Edinburgh’s most densely populated areas, as well as serving key destinations such as Ocean Terminal and Port of Leith.

Building on the undoubted popularity of the original route, the new line opens up a wealth of opportunities for the communities it now serves and you can read more here.

Manchester Metrolink

Major events taking place over this weekend mean that tram, bus and rail services across Manchester are expected to be exceptionally busy.

With concerts at the Etihad Stadium, Heaton Park and the AO Arena, as well as Soccer Aid at Old Trafford, Transport for Greater Manchester it’s urging customers to plan ahead.

TfGM has also announced that strikes planned for this weekend have been suspended, although some stops will be closed at certain times to assist with crowd management. Further details can be found here.

Docklands Light Railway

DLR at Canary Wharf // Credit: TfL

An extension of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to reach Thamesmead could be built by the early 2030s if plans go ahead, says Transport for London (TfL) in a report on the London World website.

The development would see a new cross-river DLR extension from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead via Beckton Riverside.

Thamesmead, built on former marshland on the south bank of the River Thames in south east London, is currently unserved by Tube, DLR, Overground and National Rail services.

Tyne & Wear Metro

TV star Steph McGovern got a surprise birthday greeting from the Tyne and Wear Metro, which was featured on her Channel 4 show this week.

The team at Steph’s Packed Lunch ran the surprise segment on Wednesday’s programme to mark the presenter’s 41st birthday.

Taking inspiration from her recent Metro pub crawl with the South Shields singer Joe McElderry, her team asked if the special message could be played out over the Metro’s public address system.

Nexus, the public body which operates Metro, were only too happy to oblige and you can read more here.

Extension Projects 

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) leaders will next week be asked to agree a funding package to launch construction on the second phase of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension.

Construction is currently under way on phase one of the line from the West Midlands Metro Depot at Wednesbury to Dudley town centre and is due to be completed next year.

This new funding agreement will allow work to continue on the line from Dudley town centre to Merry Hill Waterfront in Brierley Hill. This phase of the project will add a further three stops. The route will then continue onto Merry Hill Shopping Centre, subject to a funding contribution from Dudley Council.

The WMCA maintains an ambition to continue the extension deeper into Brierley Hill, dependent on further funding becoming available and you can read the full story here.


Heritage railways across the country, including Seaton Tramway are joining forces again this summer to raise awareness of their importance as a tourism destination, educating and telling the story of Britain’s railways whilst also providing local jobs and volunteer community engagement.

Following the enormous success of the first two years, the third annual ‘Love Your Railway’ campaign, is a nationwide campaign which shines a spotlight on heritage railway organisations, encouraging visitors to support them this summer.

Spearheaded by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR), it runs from  June 5 to July 16, with weekly themes covering conservation, education and restoration and there’s more on the campaign here.


A recent Westminster event provided the ideal opportunity for the LRSSB to step up its engagement with key stakeholders.

At the invitation of Labour MP Jo Stevens, LRSSB Chief Executive, Carl Williams, attended a recent Parliamentary Reception organised by the rail driver’s union ASLEF.

As well as hearing from the union’s General Secretary Mick Whelan on a campaign to improve the design of cabs, the event enabled the LRSSB strengthen links with an organisation representing many tram drivers. To read more, click here.

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