In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Another milestone reached in the expansion of West Midlands Metro, further changes to Metrolink services in Manchester, work continues over the winter at Crich, and views sought on DLR extension.
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).
Members of the UKTram VLR Working Party heard that major rail operators are already showing interest in the innovative vehicles as they seek to fulfil promises to make rail cleaner, and you can read the full story here.
In other light rail news:
West Midlands Metro
The construction of a significant structure for the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension has entered the final stages of delivery, an important milestone in the development of the scheme.
The purpose-built infrastructure, which stands at over 6.2m tall, will serve as the junction between the new extension and the existing operational route. It is being delivered by Midland Metro Alliance, the organisation designing and delivering Metro expansions on behalf of Transport for West Midlands, since 2022.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, and Councillor Peter Hughes, Sandwell Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the West Midlands Combined Authority visited the structure last week to see the feat of engineering, and you can read more here.
Further service changes are being introduced on parts of the Metrolink network to improve reliability while repairs to a cracked rail near Victoria tram stop continue.
Exchange Square tram stop will reopen to provide a more reliable and punctual service for customers travelling on Metrolink through the city centre, by balancing the number of trams passing through Market Street and Shudehill.
From Monday, February 12, the East Didsbury to Shaw and Crompton service will run on a 12-minute frequency between East Didsbury and Exchange Square only at peak times (7am to 8pm) instead of running to Shaw and Crompton.
Services between East Didsbury and Rochdale Town Centre will also run on a 12-minute frequency via Market Street and Shudehill, and further information can be found here.
Docklands Light Railway
Transport for London (TfL) is inviting people to have their say on proposals for an extension of the DLR.
The preferred route is a cross-river extension of the DLR from Gallions Reach to Thamesmead via Beckton Riverside, and working with the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Newham two brand new stations would be created.
The plans would support the delivery of new transport links, homes and regeneration in Thamesmead and Beckton, and the consultation is open until March 18, 2024. Public feedback will be used to help make decisions about the scheme and inform the designs and next steps, and you can find out more here.
During our closed season between the end of October and mid-March, lots of things happen at Crich.
In the workshop, maintenance of the tramcar fleet and major restoration projects continue while important work on the track and overhead line is carried out and the facilities team complete a wide variety of maintenance tasks on buildings and the wider site.
In the Curatorial Department, work continues to catalogue the collections, carry out conservation tasks and plan future displays, and you can find out more by clicking here.
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