Light rail and trams

NECA to review ‘poor performing’ Tyne & Wear Metro contract

NECA to review ‘poor performing’ Tyne & Wear Metro contract

01.02.16: The North East Combined Authority (NECA) is determined to cut off DB Regio from operating the Tyne & Wear Metro network when its contract expires next year if it does not improve services. The authority’s transport lead, Cllr Nick...

We must accept the need for a digital railway

We must accept the need for a digital railway

13.01.16: Alistair Gordon, chief executive of Keolis UK and chair of the Rail Delivery Group’s technology and operations working group, makes the case for investment in a digital railway. The UK’s 19th-century rail infrastructure is reach...

Sheffield Nunnery depot welcomes UK’s first tram-train

Sheffield Nunnery depot welcomes UK’s first tram-train

11.12.15: The UK’s first tram-train was greeted by transport minister Andrew Jones MP at Sheffield’s Nunnery Square depot yesterday (10 December) after it finished the nearly three-week journey from Vossloh España’s plant near Val...

Trams running in central Birmingham for the first time in 60 years

Trams running in central Birmingham for the first time in 60 years

08.12.15: Passenger services have started running to the Bull Street stop on Birmingham’s Midland Metro as part of the first step in the £128m city centre tram extension started in 2012. Services began at the weekend, marking the first ti...

New Metrolink stop opens as the first step in Second City Crossing

New Metrolink stop opens as the first step in Second City Crossing

07.12.15: Manchester’s expanding light rail network, Metrolink, gained an extra stop at the weekend with the start of services into Exchange Square, a busy shopping district in the city centre. The opening of the new stop also marks the first t...

Edinburgh trams to trial mobility scooter access for three months

Edinburgh trams to trial mobility scooter access for three months

04.12.15: Transport for Edinburgh has launched the first phase of a trial – the first in Scotland – to allow mobility scooters on its tram network. The scheme will be split into two parts, the first of which consists of inviting potential...

DfT approves plans to build Tinsley Chord

DfT approves plans to build Tinsley Chord

27.11.15: The Department for Transport (DfT) has approved plans to build the Tinsley Chord which will allow the UK’s first tram-trains to run in South Yorkshire.  A joint Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application was made to the sec...

First Sheffield tram-train shipped

First Sheffield tram-train shipped

23.11.15: The country’s first £60m tram-train vehicle has been shipped to Sheffield from its testing site at Vossloh España’s plant near Valencia. Stagecoach Supertram’s 37m-long tram-train will travel for two weeks ove...

Government commits £97m to Midland Metro Eastside extension

Government commits £97m to Midland Metro Eastside extension

18.11.15: Central government has vowed to earmark an extra £97m for the Metro Eastside extension, subject to a business case, as part of the West Midlands major £1bn devolution package. The deal, announced yesterday, will inject £36...

Centro pushes Birmingham New Street tram extension works to 2016

Centro pushes Birmingham New Street tram extension works to 2016

10.11.15: Work on Birmingham’s Midland Metro have been scaled back as a result of “unforeseen challenges”, meaning the extension to New Street station, originally set for this year, will be kicked back into next year. Centro announc...

TfGM shortlists four companies for next Metrolink operations contract

TfGM shortlists four companies for next Metrolink operations contract

19.10.15: Four companies have been shortlisted by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to operate and maintain Metrolink from 2017, after the current contract finishes. KeolisAmey, National Express, Transdev and the incumbent, RATP Dev, were the s...

Edinburgh trams passenger numbers exceed targets

Edinburgh trams passenger numbers exceed targets

11.09.15: Edinburgh trams carried 50,000 more passengers between late May and early September 2015 than in the same period last year, ahead of final proposals for a network extension. During its first full year of service, the trams served 400,000 mo...

Nottingham tram extension opens after eight-month delay

Nottingham tram extension opens after eight-month delay

25.08.15: NET phase 2, the Nottingham tram extension adding two new lines to the city’s light rail network, opened today (25 August) after eight months of delays. The opening was originally set for December 2014, but a series of delays pushed i...

Edinburgh launches assessments into tram network extension

Edinburgh launches assessments into tram network extension

11.08.15: Edinburgh city councillors are reviewing the possibility of extending the tramway to Leith and Newhaven after an updated business case was introduced at its latest council meeting. The extension would serve to drive the renewal of the city&...

Smart ticketing contractor ditched in Greater Manchester

Smart ticketing contractor ditched in Greater Manchester

05.08.15: Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has scrapped its deal with private firm Atos to deliver smart ticketing across the Metrolink tram network, local rail services and the rest of the public transport infrastructure. In a joint statement...

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Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

18/12/2018Workers who narrowly avoided death had no one in charge and ‘ineffective’ safety arrangements

“Ineffective” safety arrangements and a number of unofficial working practices contributed to a group of track workers narrowly avoid... more >
Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

18/12/2018Structural steelwork begins on Glasgow Queen Street transformation

The transformation of Glasgow Queen Street has been revealed as engineers have finished the installation of the west truss and have begun buildin... more >
Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

18/12/2018Rival operators to run on same rail routes in bid to drive up competition

Passengers will have the choice of choosing which train operators they travel with under new plans to allow rival TOCs to operate on the same rou... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

27/11/2018Spotlight on Coventry Very Light Rail

Olivia Brown, business development officer at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick, outlines the four exciting projects currently taking place as part of the Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)  programme. In RTM’s June/July issue, readers were introduced to the concept of VLR and th... more >
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Passenger safety: Respect the edge

27/11/2018Passenger safety: Respect the edge

Claire Coward, communications lead at the RSSB, discusses her organisation’s latest passenger safety campaign. Incidents at the platfo... more >
Night Tube: The twilight economy

27/11/2018Night Tube: The twilight economy

Dr David Lutton, executive director of economy and tax at London First, argues that the capital’s night-time economy is just starting its j... more >
Monitoring the performance of earthworks

27/11/2018Monitoring the performance of earthworks

Dr Joel Smethurst, associate professor in geotechnical engineering, and Professor William Powrie, professor of geotechnical engineering, both of ... more >
Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >

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HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >