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Light Rail news roundup 20th October 2023 Friday October 20, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Awards for West Midlands Metro, Midland Metro Alliance and Edinburgh Trams, student offer comes to an end in Nottingham, and engineering works in Manchester.


The challenges and successes experienced by networks across the UK and Ireland have been highlighted by light rail professionals during recent working group meetings.

The UKTram Light Rail Operations and Engineering Groups met ahead of a recent sector summit in Birmingham and discussed a range of topics, from tackling anti-social behaviour on trams to supply issues.

The Engineering Group was led for the first time by its new Chair, Marilena Papadopoulou from Edinburgh Trams, and you can read the full story here.

In other light rail news:

West Midlands Metro

The popularity of West Midlands Metro with its customers has been recognised with a prestigious award at a recent high-profile event in London.

The network scooped top honours in the Tram Operator of the Year category at the National Transport Awards after a string of remarkable achievements over the past 12 months.

From the successful launch of new extensions and initiatives to helping customers through the cost-of-living crisis, the Metro team has worked tirelessly to deliver a safe, secure, reliable and sustainable service and you can read the full story here.


Students in Nottingham have just a few days left to grab their ticket to cheaper tram travel across the city for 75p a day.

Launched at the end of August by Nottingham Express Transit (NET), the limited-edition discounted Student Academic Year Tram Ticket is available to purchase on the NETGO! app for just £250, saving £50 on the standard price.

The annual ticket can be used for unlimited tram travel across Nottingham until 31 July 2024 and further details can be found here.

Edinburgh Trams  

Edinburgh Trams joined eighteen employers from across the Lowlands of Scotland to receive a prestigious award from the Ministry of Defence for their outstanding support for the Armed Forces Community.

The recipients were presented with their Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award by Commander 51 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland, Brigadier Jody Davies MBE at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Accompanied with outstanding musical performances by Reservists from the 6 & 7 SCOTS Band, the guests were lauded for their dedication in supporting their employees who have served or continue to serve in the Armed Forces. For the full story, click here.

Manchester Metrolink 

Metrolink services will be affected by essential engineering works taking place on weekends in late October and early November.

Points renewal and track and concrete replacement work will be carried out at Cornbrook this Sunday (October 22), impacting services across the network.

Track repair work will also take place on the Bury and Rochdale lines over the weekend of Saturday, 4 and Sunday, 5 November. During this time, there will be no tram service between Bury and Whitefield, or Freehold and Rochdale Town Centre. Further information on the works can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro 

A series of special tests have been taking place to ensure that the Tyne and Wear Metro’s new trains perform correctly at their full customer capacity.

The crush laden testing checks that the new trains work as they should do when the carriage is full.

It has involved one of the new Stadler trains being loaded with 39 tonnes of ballast to simulate a maximum customer loading. Containers of sand were used to replicate the weight of a full carriage before the train was put through its paces on a series runs across the Metro network during the night.

The tests went well, and you can read more here.

Extension Projects 

Midland Metro Alliance is celebrating after scooping prestigious accolades at the annual Global Light Rail Awards.

The alliance was Highly Commended for its work in keeping stakeholders up to date on the Metro extension schemes across the West Midlands as well as the support it provides, in collaboration with broadcast partners Local TV, to showcase some of the region’s businesses which might be impacted by tramway construction. You can read more here.


East Devon’s, Seaton Tramway is the only attraction in Devon to be awarded the Welcome Accolade.

VisitEngland’s Welcome Accolade is awarded to those attractions that give visitors a genuinely excellent welcome to their attraction. As reported here, it goes to teams who go the extra mile to ensure their visitors are well looked after and get the most out of their visit.

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