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NR completes crucial Sheffield tram-train track connection

Network Rail has reached a landmark point on the delayed tram-train project in South Yorkshire as engineers installed the physical link between the tram and the heavy rail network over the Easter weekend.

The critical piece of track sits at the start of a new 400m section of track, the Tinsley Chord, and will allow services to move from the tram network on to the regular rail tracks seamlessly between Sheffield and Rotherham from 2018.

The news follows testing starting earlier this month as the first count of tram-trains were introduced on to both the tram and train network.

Simon Coulthard, senior sponsor for Network Rail, said the work represented an exciting step forward for the tram-train project which has seen many setbacks and finally set its completion date in February this year.

“Tram-train is an entirely new way of travelling for the UK and will allow us to improve how we meet the needs of the communities and economies our transport networks serve,” Coulthard said.

“This is a challenging project and there is still much to do, including the construction of the tram stops at Rotherham Central and Parkgate and the completion of the overhead line power system.”

He added that the work completed over Easter was a “crucial step forward,” as Network Rail continues to work with its partners to deliver the full tram-train service from Sheffield city centre to Rotherham Central and Parkgate next year.

Stephen Edwards, executive director at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, added: “The track connection completed at Easter marks an exciting milestone for South Yorkshire’s scheme, and is a significant part of the construction that will turn years of meticulous planning into Britain’s first operational tram-train service.”

In addition, work has also begun on College Road Bridge, another important point in the network, in Rotherham over the bank holiday. The bridge will be demolished and replaced during the late May bank holiday (Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May) in order to raise it and provide space for the OLE underneath. 

To complete the work safely, trains from Meadowhall to Swinton will not stop at Rotherham Central, passengers will be offered a bus replacement service.

Transport authorities across the country, including Manchester’s Metrolink, hope that success with the tram-train pilot in Sheffield could open the door for similar projects on other local networks.

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Andrew Gwilt   19/04/2017 at 14:41

So when will the Sheffield Supertram Tram-Trains start its service to Rotherham. Will it start operating from late September or possibly early November this year or January next year as 7 Class 399's Tram-Train vehicles are built and to be delivered ready for the Rotherham service once the electrification is completed.

David   19/04/2017 at 15:47

Andrew, the article says 2018. No need to guess a month. Hopefully the trams themselves will be in passenger service soon as the additional units are sorely needed.

Andrew Gwilt   19/04/2017 at 17:05

Didn't see the article that said 2018. But thanks David.

L Clarke   21/04/2017 at 13:45

Can i ask why there are Thousands of pounds being wasted on raising bridges, When there is a paint which can be put under the bridge above the lines to stop any problems? I have heard that a contractor, GLS are already doing this work.

Billd   21/04/2017 at 14:36

I don't see what al the fuss is about. We've had metro vehicles running onto and off NR metals in the north-east for years. There can be little difference between the Tyne & Wear units and the tram-trains/Class 399 vehicles mixing in with heavy rail vehicles. Someone seems to be making a fortune out of this project. JFDI!

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