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Light Rail news roundup 19th January 2024 Friday January 19, 2024

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Offer for UKTram members, popular tram ticket for rugby fans in Edinburgh, services suspended in Manchester due to rail repairs, and another milestone for the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension.


The vital work being done by UKTram to remove the barriers to the future expansion of light rail in the UK has been highlighted in the most recent edition of a leading transport magazine.

In a feature on the organisation’s Centre of Excellence, Rail Director talks to its Chair, Colin Robey, about simplifying planning and design processes, and how a team of experts is helping to drive growth by addressing fundamental challenges faced by organisations planning future projects.

Now the December issue of Rail Director is available online, and you can read the feature in full here.

Also, the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO) is launching two discount schemes for organisations, including UKTram members, to benefit from when booking its meeting and event Spaces in 2024, and you can read more here.

In other light rail news:

Edinburgh Trams

A popular pre-purchase ticket for tram travel is set to make sure rugby fans miss none of the action when the eagerly-awaited Guinness Six Nations championship returns to Edinburgh next month.

Edinburgh Trams’ ‘Rugby Return’ tickets are now on sale ahead of what is expected to be an epic clash between Scotland and France, which kicks off at 2.15pm on Saturday, February 10.

With an option to be downloaded onto a smart device or printed out in advance, they offer excellent value-for-money, and you can read more here.

Manchester Metrolink

Metrolink services will be unable to operate between Victoria and Exchange Square tram stops until further notice, while rail repairs are carried out.

Following the discovery of a cracked rail on the approach to Victoria station, which forms part of Metrolink’s Second City Crossing linking Victoria to Exchange Square and St Peter’s Square, temporary service changes were introduced to ensure services could continue to operate safely, predominantly due to the increased derailment risk.

Further investigation of the rail has found that more permanent repairs are currently not possible with the track in situ, and more details can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A new social enterprise selling quality vintage sportswear at affordable prices to support and provide training to vulnerable young people has opened its doors at South Shields Transport Interchange.

The HoodEx shop was the brainchild of a reformed offender and serving soldier, Ricky Gleeson, who wanted to create a business with a strong social value.

As reported here, Ricky started the company to support young ex-offenders and people at risk of offending, inspired by his own life experiences of crime, homelessness and drug abuse.

Now a reformed character, he began with a stall at South Shields Market, but he has seen a dream come true after expanding the venture into the vacant unit at the town’s transport interchange.

Extension Projects 

The final section of tram track in Digbeth has been welded into place in a major milestone for the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension.

This significant achievement signals the end of track laying and the current phase of construction along Digbeth High Street and follows the completion of works on the first section of the line at Lower Bull Street.

The Digbeth stretch of the route has also been enhanced with new paving, green infrastructure and landscaped areas as part of Birmingham City Council and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership’s (GBSLEP) masterplan to regenerate the area.

More information can be found on the Midland Metro Alliance website, here.

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