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Transport Minister signs contracts for first Tram-Train service

Norman Baker (center)
Norman Baker (center) Photo SYPTE

The Transport Minister Norman Baker MP was in South Yorkshire on Wednesday 19 June to sign the contracts to deliver the innovative Tram-Train service which will run between Sheffield and Rotherham. The service which will run between Rotherham Parkgate and Sheffield City Centre operating on both the existing tramway and the national rail network. The service will start in early 2016 after the route is upgraded and the new vehicles are delivered. Seven new Tram-Train vehicles will be supplied by Vossloh. They will be the first in the country to run on both rail and tram networks. The vehicles are dual voltage making them future proofed to cater for any subsequent electrification of the Midland Mainline by being capable of operating at both light and heavy rail operating voltage. The circa GBP60 million pilot scheme will provide a boost to the local economy thanks to improved connections across the area and is also expected to create 35 new jobs locally.

Network Rail will build a new link junction and points between the light rail and heavy rail lines near Meadowhall South. The rail line from Meadowhall South to Rotherham Central Station and Rotherham Parkgate will be electrified. New platforms will also be built at Meadowhall South and at Rotherham Parkgate, and Rotherham Central Station's platforms will be extended to facilitate the new service. Future station options will also be considered. The first two years of operation will be used to pilot the Tram-Train concept so that the rail industry can understand and assess the technical issues involved in such operations. If the pilot is successful, it could open the way for Tram-Trains to be introduced in other parts of the country.

Norman Baker said: "Providing better connections between the heart of Sheffield and Rotherham's centres and residential areas will help to reinvigorate the local economy. It will also encourage people to leave their cars at home.
"Tram-Trains are an innovative and high-capacity transport system which have proved very successful in other European cities.
"We will be monitoring the scheme over the course of the next two years and I look forward to seeing if it would be appropriate to replicate it elsewhere in the UK."

20 June 2013

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