Plans for a new section of rail that will allow European-style Tram Trains to run between Britain’s rail and tram network for the first time are out for consultation.
Local residents, landowners, rail and tram passengers are invited to comment on the construction plans for 150 metres of track that will link the railway and Stagecoach Supertram networks at Tinsley. Consultation events are being held at The Skills Source Academy in Sheffield on 6 and 7 February and the plans are also on Network Rail’s website.
Warrick Dent, area director for Network Rail, said: “This is an exciting stage of the project as we consult on plans which, if approved, will turn years of meticulous planning into Britain’s first operational Tram Train service. This will improve journeys between Sheffield and Rotherham and boost the local economy by giving improved access to jobs, education and leisure activities as well as directly creating around 35 new jobs.
“Tram Trains are a common sight in Europe and we believe they could help to improve journey options for passengers around our towns and cities. Even though the Tram Trains run elsewhere, we have had many complex issues to work through with our partners in the project to make sure that the vehicles can operate safely in Britain without causing unnecessary disruption to regular tram and rail passengers.
“We would encourage regular Stagecoach Supertram and Northern Rail passengers, local residents and landowners to view and comment upon the plans.”
The partners in the Tram Train project are Network Rail, Department for Transport, Northern Rail, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Stagecoach Supertram. The project was approved by Government in 2012 and forms part of the Sheffield City Region Devolution Deal.
Tram Trains will provide a direct service and improve journeys between Sheffield city centre, Rotherham Central train station and Parkgate retail park. Tram Trains will use the existing Supertram route between Cathedral and Meadowhall South and then move onto the rail network via the new track that is being consulted upon (known as a “chord”) to Parkgate.
The chord will need:
- 150 metres of new track with associated ground work
- Overhead line equipment to carry the power to the Tram Trains
- Lineside equipment including a small new building to house electrical equipment.
An application for a Transport Work Act Order (TWAO) will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport in spring 2015. There will be a further public consultation as part of this process. Dependent upon the TWAO process and decision, work to construct the chord is expected to start in spring 2016. Construction is expected to take approximately eight months. The consultation events for the first part of that process will be held at:
The Source Skills Academy, 300 Meadowhall Way, Sheffield, S9 1EA
11am – 7pm Friday 6 February and
10am – 2pm Saturday 7 February
Further details can be found at www.networkrail.co.uk/tinsleychord