Latest Rail News

15.12.14

June launch expected for Nottingham tram extension

The final section of track for 17.5km extension of Nottingham’s tram network has been laid in preparation for trams to take to the rails in June next year, later than originally planned.

More than 3,800 sections of track have been laid using Alstom’s automated Appitrack system, extending Nottingham’s light rail network from the city centre railway station to Chilwell and Clifton.

Phil Hewitt, chief executive of NET concessionaire Tramlink Nottingham, said: “The completion of track laying is another landmark achievement for the NET Phase Two project and reflects the skill and dedication of the construction teams involved – including many people recruited from Nottingham and surrounding areas.

“The work to date – including the diversion and upgrading of buried pipes and cables – has been difficult and complex but we can now look forward to seeing trams being tested on the new sections of track.

“Before they can carry passengers, the lines have to pass extensive safety and performance tests, and this process includes examining all the signalling and communications systems as well as the new tracks and infrastructure.”

The two new lines, which run to the south and west of the city, were originally supposed to be open by December – but with track-laying only just completed, there is still extensive testing and commissioning to be done on the new routes.

NET project manager Chris Deas told the Nottingham Post: “I would say we were disappointed and frustrated with the delay.

“The track work is there now, a lot of the other work is very nearly done, it’s just the testing that needs to be completed and that’s a stage we can’t rush.”

He added that he expects passengers to be able to travel on the new trams by June. He also mentioned that it is possible that one of the new lines could be opened before the other.

Deas said: “It is an option, but it could be that speeding up progress on one line could actually delay work on the other, and the aim for us is having both new lines up and running as soon as possible.”

RTM previously reported the delays along with the delivery of the new Alstom Citadis trams that will run on the new routes.

(Image: c. Jonathan Smith at Alstom)

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