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Light Rail news roundup 10th November 2023 Friday November 10, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Networks pay tribute to armed services over Remembrance weekend, new trains pass power test on Tyne & Wear Metro, Tramtown plans passed in Blackpool and Luas supports numeracy programme.


UKTram is to play a key role in the promotion of integrated public transport solutions, with the organisation’s Managing Director joining a steering group for a high-profile forum.

James Hammett has been asked to join other transport experts in discussing ways of working together to promote effective ways of improving connectivity at a local, regional, national, and even international level.

The forum has been set up following a recent event in Manchester hosted by CMAC, a leading provider of managed ground transport and accommodation solutions for businesses, and you can read more here.

In other light rail news: 

Edinburgh Trams  

The return of a popular fictional character is set to help young children stay safe around Edinburgh’s award-winning tramway following the launch of a new book this week.

In 2018, Tilly the Tram was at the heart of a safety campaign built around a story written and illustrated by staff at Edinburgh Trams. Now she’s back, with a new tale to tell, and dozens of free copies of ‘Tilly the Tram’s New Adventure’ are to be distributed to schools in Leith, Ocean Terminal, and Newhaven.

Suitable for children aged five and under, it features key destinations and, like the original book, Tilly the Tram’s Noisy Birthday, revenue from any sales will be donated to a worthy cause. To read more, click here.

West Midlands Metro

Trams in the West Midlands will fall silent at 11.00 am this Saturday and Sunday as the country pays tribute to the fallen of two world wars and more recent conflicts.

On both November 11 and Remembrance Sunday, tram services will pause to enable Metro colleagues and customers to observe a two-minute silence and reflect on the sacrifices made by the nation’s brave servicemen and women.

To show its appreciation of the dedication and heroism shown by members of the armed services, past and present, the Metro is also offering free travel for veterans and serving army, navy and air force personnel, and further details can be found here.

Manchester Metrolink 

Serving and former members of the military can also travel for free on Manchester Metrolink, and Bee Network bus services, on both days of Remembrance this weekend.

In addition, the Lancashire Fusiliers tram will display poppy wreaths in its drivers’ cabs on both days in tribute to military heroes past and present.

All tram services will pause at 11am on Saturday and Sunday to observe a two-minute silence in line with commemorative events across the country and you can read more here.


Luas and its Operator and Maintainer Transdev, are proud to support St Patrick’s Athletic Football Club with their ‘Saints and Scholars’ football numeracy programme which took place in a number of schools local to Luas Red Line.

The participating schools below are close to both Richmond Park, the home of St. Patrick’s Athletic FC, and the Luas Red Line, and the network says it is proud to support the delivery of this programme and building a positive relationship with young people in the area. Click here to read more.

Tyne & Wear Metro 

New Metro trains have proved they can take strain on a series of traction power tests over the network’s curves and gradients.

Stadler’s Class 555 trains were put through this latest round of testing to evaluate their horsepower as part of the countdown to get the first new train ready for service next year.

There was particular focus on the curved sections of Metro track at Manors and Tynemouth, and on a gradient in the underground section between Haymarket and Jesmond.

It was an examination of the new train’s ability to tow one of the old trains. This is vital given that the transition to the new fleet will see both the current and the new trains in service at the same time, and you can find the full story here.


Plans for the development of Tramtown at Blackpool Transport’s Rigby Road have moved a step forward after Blackpool Council’s Planning Committee approved the plans for the overall project – paving the way for work to start on repairing and upgrading the historic tram depot.

British Trams online reports here that the approved planning application includes the instalment of replacement roofing, new doors and glazing to front of the depot building.

Inside the building a mezzanine first floor will be constructed and the workshop facilities will be accommodated after being moved from the separate buildings on the site (which are due to be demolished as part of the overall depot redevelopment to allow for the storage of electric buses). Ultimately an exhibition space and visitors centre will be built within the depot.

Very Light Rail

The Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC), operated by the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO), has launched its brand-new Meeting and Events Spaces to complement its other unique facilities and services.

From November 2023, the VLRNIC will offer a choice of six modern, hi-tech and flexible spaces, making it an ideal venue for a range of business meeting, training, networking and exhibiting / showcasing needs.

The venue is the Black Country’s newest in the meeting and events arena with spaces capable of accommodating from 8 to 170 guests.

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