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

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Edinburgh Trams creates diverse work environment, LRSSB support for South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Manchester Metrolink prepares for launch of new venue, and refurbishment of iconic footbridge completed on Tyne & Wear Metro. 


A former West Midlands Metro tram has been given a new lease of life after its donation to the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO) by UKTram.

The AnsaldoBreda T-69 Class tram – known by its Metro designation of ‘Tram 16’ – is now part of the BCIMO’s innovative Clean Futures Accelerator programme.

In the long term, the organisation will work with its industry partners to identify the challenges they face and how this unique test platform can help with research and development in a range of areas. These include connectivity, automation and propulsion, alongside testing in a safe, repeatable and representative environment, and you can read more here.


The organisation responsible for enhancing safety on UK tramways has helped set new standards for safety management while supporting the transition of Sheffield Supertram into the ownership of South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA).

Throughout the process, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has worked closely with the authority to help it meet its statutory obligations.

This included assisting SYMCA to undertake a Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3) assessment in preparation for its application for non-mainline safety certification and the development of a new Safety Management System (SMS) they can use post-transition. For more on this story, click here.

Edinburgh Trams

With a dedicated, highly skilled workforce from over 24 countries, Edinburgh’s popular tram network is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment within the light rail industry.

Following a series of hugely successful recruitment campaigns, Edinburgh Trams has proved an attractive proposition for applicants from all backgrounds, offering a career pathway to all personnel regardless of their nationality, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs, and you can read the full story here.

Manchester Metrolink

Co-op Live, the new world-class venue for Manchester, opens at the Etihad Campus later this month – and gig-goers are being encouraged to get on board and use public transport as the best way to get to the show.

The 23,500-capacity arena opens its doors on April 23, launching into a diverse opening season filled with globally renowned artists and events.

Tram travel is included with event tickets for four hours before and after the show – owing to Co-op Live’s ground-breaking initiative with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). Co-op Live is right next to Etihad Campus tram stop and is served by the Ashton-under-Lyne to Eccles service every day, and you can read the full story here.

West Midlands Metro

Youngsters across the West Midlands have been showing off their artistic talents as the region’s tramway gears up for a landmark anniversary.

Last month, local primary school children were invited to submit designs for a special emblem that will feature prominently throughout the Metro’s 25th-anniversary celebrations, including on the side of trams.

Sophie Allison, West Midlands Metro Managing Director, explained that, after a fantastic launch to the competition, entries are starting to flow in, and you can read more here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A major project to refurbish the historic footbridge at Cullercoats Metro station in North Tyneside has been completed, allowing it to be re-opened for customers.

£579,000 has been invested in the works, which formed part of the network’s infrastructure modernisation programme.

As reported here, restoring Cullercoats’ Victorian-era footbridge was the main focus of the project. Its wrought iron structure has been strengthened with new steelwork and the outer wooden panels and decking replaced to provide a fresher appearance and an improved customer experience.


Monday, April 22 is Earth Day – an annual event taking place in more than 192 countries around the world. This year’s theme, ‘Planet vs. Plastic’ highlights the main objectives, including phasing out single-use plastics, promoting widespread public awareness of the damage done by plastic and highlighting the need to invest in innovative technologies to address these challenges.

When discussing Earth Day, it’s worth noting that Transdev, the operator of Luas, holds the position of Europe’s top operator in zero-emission transportation.

Luas supports Earth Day by collaborating with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to initiate several sustainability projects since Luas began operating in 2004. These projects focus on reducing energy consumption and preserving biodiversity, and you can read the full story here.

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