A recent deal that will lead to trials of new lightweight passenger trains has been welcomed by a recently established very light rail (VLR) working party.
Late last year, one of the country’s leading rolling stock companies announced it had placed an order for three new battery-powered Revolution VLR vehicles, built in the Midlands by Transport Design International (TDI).
Tim Burleigh, of Eversholt Rail, told members of the UKTram VLR Working Party that major rail operators are already showing interest in the innovative vehicles as they seek to fulfil promises to make rail ‘cleaner’.
Trials with operators are planned to start in 2026 and follow on from successful RVLR demonstrator trials and testing in Ironbridge over the past two years.
Daniel Hill, UKTram Technical Officer and Vice-chair of the VLR Working Party, commented: “News of the deal between Eversholt Rail and TDI was of huge interest to the group, as it marks another milestone in the emergence of VLR as a practical and cost-effective solution to the transport challenges faced by many urban areas in the UK.
“We’re looking forward to further updates as the initiative takes shape, and stand ready to support the trials in any way we can.”
The VLR Working Party was established to bring together experts in the field to discuss ways to promote and support the development of new technologies that aim to bring down the costs associated with full light rail systems.
Ideal for smaller cities and large towns, VLR is currently being considered by a number of local and regional authorities, and the meeting also heard updates on proposals for Stoke-on-Trent, Oswestry, Stourbridge and Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.