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Light Rail news roundup 26th April 2024 Friday April 26, 2024

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – The opening of Blackpool extension approaches, Edinburgh Trams on track for another prestigious award, Manchester Metrolink celebrates record customer numbers, and Tyne & Wear Metro promotes level crossing safety.


A new working group is set to thoroughly investigate the reasons why trams sometimes fail to stop at signals when they are required to.

Mark Ashmore, Head of Safety Assurance at the LRSSB, explained that the issue of SPADs (Signals Passed at Danger) was raised at a recent meeting of the sector’s Heads of Safety Group, along with the need to better understand the risk they pose.

With the support of the LRSSB, the new working group will aim to develop a better understanding of SPADs, the reasons behind them, and how they are reported and investigated. You can read more about the initiative here.

Blackpool Transport 

After a £23.42 million investment, Blackpool’s new extended tramway is only weeks away from taking its first passengers.

On Wednesday, June 12, the first passenger tram will travel from Blackpool Transport’s Starr Gate tram depot at Squires Gate to the new terminus adjacent to Blackpool North Train Station.

As the date approaches, Fylde Coast residents are being invited to enter a draw to be in with a chance of travelling on the first tram along the new tram track extension, and the full story can be found here.

Manchester Metrolink 

As thousands of runners took to the streets for the Manchester Marathon earlier this month, Metrolink was able to record a new personal best for passengers served on a single day.

On April 14, passengers made 175,000 journeys, the highest ever recorded on a single Sunday in Metrolink’s 30-year history. It was also the busiest Sunday ever recorded, and the eighth busiest day on the network since it opened in 1992.

This year’s milestone was also 20% higher than the second highest number of journeys ever recorded on a Sunday – 145,000 – which was also hit during the Manchester Marathon in 2023. For the full story, click here.

Edinburgh Trams 

The successful launch of services to Edinburgh’s most densely populated neighbourhoods has earned the city’s tram network a place among the frontrunners for a prestigious transport sector accolade.

Members of the Edinburgh Trams Service Delivery department have been shortlisted for the Team of the Year Award at the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT).

Having already played an important role throughout the Trams to Newhaven Project, the expanded team stepped up its involvement in the months leading up to the opening of a new line serving key areas of the city, and you can read more here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A new and interactive training tool is being used to promote level crossing safety on the Tyne and Wear Metro.

The operator has installed a mocked-up Metro level crossing at the SafetyWorks teaching centre in Newcastle that recreates the red stop lights and warning tones. It will be used to educate thousands of children about the dangers of misusing them and is a new part of an immersive Metro safety training facility.

This includes a Metro station called West Fifteen, tracks, ticket machines, platforms, and a life-sized front end of a Metro train, and further information can be found here. 

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