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Projects Lead Story: Issue Issue 30 13 Jul 2012

Could UK Tram-Train Trial open new Line in rail branch solutions?

A pilot project just authorised by the British government might make a significant contribution to re-defining rail technologies for shorter and more lightly used lines. Daniel Wright considers the opportunities

Daniel Wright

The announcement by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) that it is to press ahead with a long-mooted pilot scheme to test the Tram-Train concept in South Yorkshire finds it hard to explain why the government really thinks a trial of an already proven technology is necessary. After all, systems where the line between a tramway and a suburban railway has been blurred to achieve a new form of connectivity are now well established in Europe, and even in the UK. Perhaps the British project has...

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Your Comments:

18 Jul 2012

If tram-trains are to run on UK rural rail lines it is vital that they carry bikes, as this is an essential service offered by the current heavy rail units. However, responsibility for the Tram-Train trial in South Yorkshire has been given to Stagecoach who have consistently refused to offer an integrated service since they were handed the Supertram franchise at a peppercorn rate some fifteeen years ago. They have indicated that they are not going to incliude bikes in the trial even though successful tram-trains such as Karlsruhe carry them without problems.

They seem to view the trail as an extension to their existing service, not as a national trial that will have implications for many existing services.