South Yorkshire’s Tram Train pilot will help the rail industry understand and assess the technical issues involved with planning and operating a Tram Train service. It will be the first time a Tram Train system has operated in the UK.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) was awarded £51 million from the Department for Transport to undertake the two-year pilot, with project partners Network Rail, Northern Rail and Stagecoach Supertram. Learning gained from the pilot will help determine whether Tram Trains can run in other parts of the country.
The Tram Train pilot is unique because it links heavy and light rail infrastructure, systems and operations together to provide a new transport service between Sheffield and Rotherham. The vehicles are designed to run on both the Stagecoach Supertram system and the national rail network.
The Tram Train service will provide better connections between Rotherham and Sheffield and aims to reinvigorate the local economy. It is hoped Tram Trains will benefit the environment, by providing an alternative transport option to the car.
Comprehensive design and engineering works are needed to adapt the rail network to allow Tram Train vehicles to run. Some of the work already completed or being carried out to prepare for the Tram Train service includes:
• Electrification of the rail line from Meadowhall South to Rotherham Parkgate
• Construction of the Tinsley Chord to connect the tramway to the train tracks
• Building a new tram stop at Rotherham Parkgate
• Extending platform at Rotherhan Central
• Rail replacement across several parts of the Supertram network
• Modifcations to the Supertram depot to accommodate the Citylink Tram Train vehicles
• The manufacture of 7 Citylink Tram Train vehicles in Spain
• Testing and commissioning of the new Citylink vehicles on the Supertram network
• Driver training for over 100 Supertram drivers, engineers, managers and technicians
Supertram currently operates the original Siemens-Duaweg tram, manufactured in Germany in 1992. Twenty-five Siemens trams were built and each one can carry 86 seated passengers and a further 155 standing passengers. Each tram measures just under 35 metres in length and when empty weighs in at around 50 tonnes.
Four new Citylink Tram Train vehicles will be used to provide the new service to Rotherham. Citylink vehicles are already used in Spain and Germany and the Supertram vehicle is a variant of these. For operation on Network Rail, the Citylink has been designated as a Class 399 train. You’ll see on the front and rear of each vehicle the number 399 and then the unit number, 201 to 207.
The remaining three Citylink trams will be used to support the existing Supertram network.
Each Citylink vehicle measures slightly longer than the existing trams at just over 37 metres and empty weighs in at around 66 tonnes. Capacity is similar to the Siemens tram with capacity for 88 seated passengers and around 150 standing passengers.
Yes. Citylink trams are now being used on the Supertram network.
We expect services to Rotherham to start in 2018. We’re working with our partners at SYPTE, Northern Rail and Network Rail to prepare for the introduction of services.
The Tram Train service will operate 3 services an hour, in each direction. The Tram Train route will operate between the new stop at Rotherham Parkgate via Rotherham Central railway station and then onto the Supertram network, joining at Tinsley Meadowhall South and operating through to Cathedral.
We expect the journey between Cathedral and Parkgate will take around 25 minutes.