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UK's first Tram Train to welcome passengers this month

05 Oct 2018

THE UK’S first Tram Train will welcome on board its first passengers in three weeks, it was announced today (Thursday 4 October) by Tram Train partners Stagecoach Supertram, Network Rail and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Passengers in South Yorkshire will be the first in the country to benefit from the innovative Tram Trains - a special tram vehicle, designed to run on both the city’s tramlines and the rail network between Sheffield and Rotherham, from Thursday 25th October 2018.

The Tram Trains, which will allow passengers to make a single continuous journey connecting tram stops and conventional rail stations, have completed extensive testing and Tram Train drivers have been trained to drive on the extended system over the railway. 

The Government funded programme is a partnership between South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), Network Rail, Stagecoach Supertram and Northern Rail to pilot this pioneering technology. 

Tram Train Project Board Member Steve Davenport from SYPTE said: “As project partner we are thrilled, to introduce Tram Train services on South Yorkshire’s transport network later this month. The pioneering pilot has the ability to transform travel both locally and nationally. Connecting the people and places in Sheffield and Rotherham marks the start of this journey. We hope passengers from the local area and beyond enjoy the benefits this new transport option will provide.”

Three Tram Trains an hour will travel on the Supertram network from Sheffield Cathedral to Meadowhall South, before proceeding over a new section of track linking the tram line to the rail track called the Tinsley Chord, and on to the national rail network to Parkgate Retail Centre via Rotherham Central station. 
Tickets for the service will be available from conductors on board.

South Yorkshire’s Tram Train pilot will run for two years while customer satisfaction, passenger numbers, reliability and costs are tested. Tram Train will continue to run as a local service if the pilot is successful.

For more information visit 

For more information contact SYPTE Senior Communications Officer, Victoria Greenwood, on 0114 221 1443 or at [email protected]


  • A media launch is planned for Thursday 25 October.  Arrangement will be shared in the coming weeks.
  • The core objectives of the Tram Train pilot are to: Understand the changes to industry costs of operating a lighter weight vehicle with track brakes on the national rail network; Determine changes to technical standards required both to allow inter-running of lightweight tram vehicles with heavy rail passenger and freight traffic and to gain the maximum cost benefit from Tram Train operation; Gauge passenger perception and acceptability of Tram Train; Determine the practical and operational issues of extending Tram Trains from the national rail network to on-street running; Understand the technical and operational challenges involved in this project so that the concept can potentially be rolled out elsewhere.
  • Three Tram Train services per hour are expected to operate from Parkgate Retail Park in Rotherham, via Rotherham Central Station, before joining the existing Supertram network at Meadowhall south and continuing to Sheffield city centre.  Tickets will be fully integrated with Stagecoach Supetram.
  • Tram Trains have the signalling, power supply, control, wheel profile and telecommunications technology to run on both street tram lines and the rail network. Produced by Stadler in Spain, South Yorkshire’s Tram Trains are dual voltage Citylink Class 399 vehicles that can operate on both the 750 V Overhead Line Equipment (OHLE) of Supertram's network and the 25 kV OHLE of the National Rail network, and so are ‘future-proofed’ for higher voltage rail lines.  The Tram Train service will operation on 750V overhead line equipment between Parkgate and Sheffield city centre.
  • Tram Trains meet the strict vehicle safety of a train but the interior is much like that of a tram. They have higher vehicle crashworthiness and main line lighting requirements to allow inter operation with conventional trains. Tram Train brakes are designed to stop safely in all conditions, including City Centre traffic, and have Road Traffic Act compliant head lights, horns, wing-mirrors and direction indicators necessary for on-street operation. Additional main line signalling and communications equipment, such as TPWS and the Global System for Mobile Communication – Railway (GSM-R), is also installed on board.
  • Works to make the scheme a reality have included the electrification of the rail network between Sheffield and Rotherham (to 750 V), building new Tram Train platforms at Rotherham Central and Parkgate, adaptations to the Supertram network to accommodate the wheel profile of Tram Train, and the construction of a new 160 metre section of track – called the ‘Tinsley Chord’ - linking the tramway to the train line. 

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive
11 Broad Street West
Sheffield S1 2BQ

Enquiries: 0114 276 7575
Facsimile: 0114 275 9908