Light Rail

East Mids Airport link proposed as part of Midlands Engine

A rail link between the HS2 station at Toton and East Midlands airport is being investigated as part of a feasibility study into a number of infrastructure proposals that could support the Midlands Engine strategy. Heavy rail, light rail and tram-train are possible options.

Click here for the article

Second city crossing set to open on 26 February

Manchester’s transformational new tram line is on track to open to passengers later this month, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) announced today.

Subject to final testing and commissioning, the first passenger services will run on the new Second City Crossing on Sunday 26 February.
The new line will offer new links and more frequent trams through Manchester city centre, as well as improved service reliability and greater operational flexibility.

This city crossing runs from a major new stop at St Peter’s Square along Cross Street to stops at Exchange Square and Victoria, and will allow more trams to run through the city centre and across the 93-stop network.

The Second City Crossing is the final piece in Metrolink’s £1.5bn ‘big bang’ expansion programme – which has seen extensions to MediaCityUK, East Didsbury, Rochdale via Oldham, Ashton and Manchester Airport.

Importantly, the new line will support the tram network’s future growth by allowing for increased services to run on some lines as demand to travel grows.

Construction work on the new city crossing finished late last year and has been followed by a rigorous testing and commissioning process, including driver training.

When the new line opens, Manchester Airport services will run to the city centre Deansgate-Castlefield stop and, later this year, will continue to Victoria.

Services that currently terminate at Deansgate-Castlefield and Exchange Square will continue across the city centre to Shaw and Crompton and East Didsbury.

Fresh risk to Rotherham Tram Train project

Concerns have been raised following an update to the next meeting of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee. The project timeline for opening has slipped to summer 2018. However, a contractual long stop date of 15 September 2017, allowing any partner a mechanism to terminate their involvement if the service was not operating by that date. This date will clearly not be achieved and this has allowed Stagecoach Supertram to review their commercial operating contract. This matter is presently being negotiated with SYPTE and DfT.

The update with regards to the vehicles was more positive with the units due to commence operation on the network soon. In addition, the new owners were more positive with regards to the Parkgate stop. The new owners are demonstrating an increased positive interest in the service and SYPTE are re-negotiating the arrangements with the owners to secure a footpath link to new stop and dedicated park and ride arrangements.

Clearance work begins on Brierley Hill extension

Work to progress the proposed extension of the Midland Metro from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill is due to commence this week.

The Midland Metro Alliance (MMA), working on behalf of West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), will begin to clear vegetation from overgrown areas of the disused former South Staffordshire Railway line in order to carry out comprehensive structural and environmental surveys.

It is anticipated the construction of the route will begin during 2019 and that the route will open for passenger service in 2023.

The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension will be 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) long and have 17 stops, including 4 provisional stops.

The route will branch off from the existing east of the existing depot at Wednesbury and go via Dudley town centre, Merry Hill and the terminus at Brierley Hill.

The vegetation clearance process should take approximately two weeks and all residents and businesses who may be directly affected by the works have been informed they are taking place.

Councillor Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport for the WMCA, said: “Whilst this is not the formal start of work on the extension it is the first step towards it.

“There is a lot of work still to be done but once it is complete the Black Country and wider region will reap the economic rewards of having an extended modern tram system running through it.”

Trafford Park enabling works begin

Enabling works have triggered the start of the construction of the Trafford Park Metrolink extension.

The project will see a new six stop line offering rapid transport connections to key business and leisure destinations on a 3.4 mile (5.5km) route to the intu Trafford Centre.

Advanced utility works are now underway, which will run concurrently with other enabling works. Some local traffic management measures will be required at sites on Barton Dock Road, Village Way, Village Place and Trafford Wharf Road.

The website for further information can be found here