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Light Rail news roundup 15th March 2024 Friday March 15, 2024

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Birthday celebrations in Nottingham, West Midlands Metro chooses charity of the year, Easter offers from Edinburgh Trams, award recognition for operator of Tyne & Wear Metro, and new era for Sheffield Supertram.


The way the UK light rail sector shares best practice has been praised at an international conference.

Its representative body, UKTram, was invited to share its experience of bringing together key stakeholders during the event in Dubai that brought together light rail leaders from the Middle East and Africa.

Organised by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), the MENA Transport Congress and Exhibition featured a presentation by UKTram Operations Manager, Steve Duckering, who highlighted the success of the organisation’s formal working groups. To read more, click here.

In other light rail news:

Sheffield Supertram   

From Friday, March 22, Supertram will no longer be run by Stagecoach. From this date, the tram will be run by a company known as South Yorkshire Future Trams Limited on behalf of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA).

Following the changeover, the same friendly Supertram staff will welcome customers on board and there are no plans to change timetables, but there will be changes to Supertram tickets and where they can be purchased.

From March 21, any new tram tickets will need to be purchased via a new app, from a SYMCA ticket vending machine, or on the tram, and you can find out more here.


To mark the network’s 20th anniversary, tram users are being treated to a whole year of surprises and treats.

NET kick-started the celebrations and its ‘20 acts of kindness’ campaign by treating anyone who shared its birthday date of March 9, to a special birthday gift and group photo.

In attendance was David Nicholson-Cole, who not only shares his birthday with Nottingham’s trams but was one of the trams’ first ever passengers, and you can read the full story here.

West Midlands Metro  

Acorns Children’s Hospice has been named the Metro’s Charity of the Year for 2024 following an internal selection process.

The charity is renowned for its specialised palliative care services for local children and families, offering various forms of support, including respite care, therapy, and bereavement assistance.

Last year, the operator raised an impressive £763 for MacMillan Cancer Support through various fundraising activities, and you can read more here.

Edinburgh Trams 

With the Easter holidays fast approaching, anyone planning to fly into Edinburgh for a short break can ‘relax and glide’ from the airport thanks to the city’s acclaimed tram network.

Alongside the popular ‘Airport Return’ tickets, which cost £9 for adults and £4.80 for children, Edinburgh Trams is also offering a host of flexible, value-for-money fares for those planning to make the most of the city’s many attractions.

Priced from just £18 for adults and £9 for under-16s, the ‘Airport Multi-Day’ tickets allow unlimited tram travel between Ingliston Park & Ride and Newhaven, as well as one return journey to and from the airport, for three, four, or five consecutive days.

Families and small groups can also take advantage of a wide range of ticket deals, and more details can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Operator Nexus has received industry recognition at this year’s prestigious Rail Business Awards.

The event, which highlighted the achievements of the best operators in the UK rail industry, saw Nexus win three awards at a recent ceremony in Manchester.

There were wins for the Metro Flow project, asset management, customer services and the new Gosforth Metro Depot. For the full story, click here.


This Sunday, March 17, there will be some changes to Luas services to make way for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Services on both the Red and Green Lines will run Sunday operating hours and there will also be partial closures of the Red and Green Lines to facilitate the parade.

Full details of the temporary line closures can be found here.

Stourbridge Shuttle

In an extraordinary testament to the allure of Britain’s unique railway lines, Neil Hughes, a retired air traffic controller from southwest Scotland, embarked on a nearly 700-mile round trip just to experience the 0.8-mile journey aboard the Stourbridge Shuttle.

The tiny train, operating between Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town, might not turn every head, but for enthusiasts like Neil, it represents a bucket list adventure unlike any other.

Setting off at 5 am on Tuesday, February 27, Neil’s meticulously planned journey involved driving to Glasgow Airport, flying via Belfast to Birmingham, and then navigating multiple train services just to reach the starting point of Europe’s shortest branch line.

To read more about Neil’s adventure, click here.

Extension Projects  

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is investing a total of £6.1 billion to deliver a green transport revolution across the region, expanding Metro, bus, rail, cycling and walking networks to better connect people to job and leisure opportunities.

The funding has been secured since TfWM was formed as part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and will be invested over the 15 years to 2032, funding scores of projects and connecting communities across Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

As reported here, TfWM confirmed that plans are now being developed for the next five rapid transit routes – to deliver new turn-up-and-go Metro or Sprint rapid bus services.

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