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Tram-train proposed for Cardiff – Taff Ely corridor

Tram-train proposed for Cardiff – Taff Ely corridor

Proposals for a tram-train scheme to serve a ‘North West Corridor’ (NWC) from Cardiff have been published in a new report, The Case for a Llantrisant to Cardiff Metro. Initial estimates put the cost of delivering the project between the Welsh capital and Taff Ely at GBP500m (EUR575m). Construction would include the re-use of disused rail formation, and services would tie in to the existing South Wales Metro scheme. The report, prepared by transport consultancy Cogitamus, includes an estimated GBP100m (EUR115m) toremodel Cardiff West station and allow more than eight trains per hour to run from the City Line/NW Corridor through to Cardiff Central and Crossrail.   ‘Quick wins’ In the interim, ‘quick wins’ could include work to increase capacity at Cardiff West Junction to allow four trains per hour on the City Line, and the development of a network of express bus routes. Cogitamus Policy Director Katie Allister said: “This would allow the frequencies that we were talking about on the City Line to be raised from two to four trains per hour and you are looking at a GBP20m to GBP30m pricetag for that. “Hugely different, yes, but they are each necessary stepping stones. You need that first bit of work at Cardiff West to allow that more strategic long-term solution to be delivered.” The term ‘North West Corridor’ describes part of Cardiff West bordered by the A4232 link road in the west and the A470 and Merthyr railway line in the east. This extends to the communities known collectively as Taff Ely, along with Fairwater, Danescourt and Creigiau, as well as forthcoming developments at Plasdwr and...
Moskva tramway rolls out new ‘smart switch’

Moskva tramway rolls out new ‘smart switch’

A new ‘smart switch’ has been installed on the tramway in Moskva (Moscow) as the start of a general rollout across the wider network in the Russian capital. Replacing a traditional manually-operated switch near Kursky station in the eastern part of the city, the new version undertakes the role automatically; information about a tram’s route is transmitted from the vehicle to the switch, with the driver receiving confirmation about the blades’ position via a tablet in the cab. The equipment has been installed in one of Moskva’s low-floor PK-TS Vityaz-Moscow trams, after it was successfully tested on the 71-623vehicle known as ‘the carrot’ due to its orange colour. “We will gradually upgrade all the tram switches in Moscow. In addition to the control system, we plan to upgrade their design”, the Moscow Department of Transport reports. “This way, the driver may not be distracted from the road – everything happens automatically. Trams will go faster and trips will become even safer. We use advanced Russian-made technologies… [never] used before in transport”. Although far smaller than at its peak, Moskva’s tramway today still covers more than 400 track-km (250 track-miles). It has been operated by the Moscow Metro since February 2021; unified management and the application of metro standards are aimed at increasing speed, improving operational services and enhancing the quality of passenger...
NSW Government funds Parramatta tramway phase two

NSW Government funds Parramatta tramway phase two

The New South Wales Government (Australia) has confirmed that it is to proceed with the second phase of the Parramatta Light Rail project, committing AUD602.4m (EUR404m) to what it describes as ‘the Western Sydney megaproject’. The funding is to go towards early works and building the Wentworth Point Bridge, while detailed planning gets underway. An Environmental Impact Statement is to be released for public consultation by the end of the year. Stage one of the tramway, which is expected to open in 2023, will connect Westmead, the Parramatta CBD, Camellia and Carlingford over 12km (7.5 miles) with 16 stops. The next 9km (six-mile) phase, with 15 stops, will take the route west from Camellia to Melrose Park before crossing the Parramatta River to Wentworth Point, Sydney Olympic Park and a new terminus at Carter Street. Describing this second stage as a “vital piece of infrastructure”, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottetsaid it will “support the growth of Western Sydney while linking to another enormous project in Sydney Metro West, improving quality of life by slashing daily commute times.” Minister for Transport and Veterans David Elliott commented: “We’ve only just seen 100% of tracks laid across the Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 project as well as construction of the light rail stops along Church Street. Stage two will drive revenue for small businesses in the area and change how the community travel and connect to places across Greater Parramatta in the future.” Tracklaying on the AUD2.4bn (EUR1.6bn) phase one was completed in May. Operations and maintenance are to be handled by the Great River City Light Rail consortium which includes operator Transdev...
KC Streetcar boost attributed to rising fuel prices

KC Streetcar boost attributed to rising fuel prices

In the wake of rising US fuel prices, the KC Streetcar (Kansas City, MO) has reported that patronage is almost back to pre-pandemic levels, with a major uplift recorded since March. In a similar trend, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) is also registering a 74% increase in weekday bus passengers with a 15% boost in journeys in May compared to same period in 2021. Both streetcar and bus services are free to ride and a surge in summer activities in the city’s downtown has seen particularly busy periods at the weekends. Four of the system’s six CAF Urbos trams now operate on Fridays and Saturdays – normally this is three – with an average of 10 000 trips on Saturdays. The KC Streetcar opened in May 2016, covering 3.5km (2.2 miles) along Main Street from the River Market to Union Station/Crown Center and a loop around the City Market. Carrying almost ten million riders in six years, since construction was approved in 2012 around USD4bn in development has been seen along the route. On 6 April work began on a 5.6km (3.5-mile) extension which will connect the current southern terminus at Union Station to the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). This USD351m project is being overseen by a joint partnership of the city, the KC Streetcar Authority and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and is expected to open in 2025. A further six CAF Urbos trams were ordered in 2021; this order was extended to eight earlier this...
West Midlands services to restart on 9 June

West Midlands services to restart on 9 June

Services on the West Midlands Metro (UK) are to restart on 9 June, with the first trams running from 04.28 on the section between Wolverhampton St George’s and Birmingham Bull Street. Tram operation has been suspended since 19 March, following the discovery of bodywork cracks in the CAF Urbos 3 fleet. Repairs have included replacement of vehicle panels at the system’s Wednesbury depot, as well as through outsourcing to the nearby Wolverton Works, in conjunction with manufacturer CAF. It is understood that six vehicles are to go to Wolverton. In a statement on 8 June, operator Midland Metro Limited (MML) said that “the number of repaired trams, along with the new trams which have successfully completed their testing and commissioning, means that we are able to deliver a consistent service. Initially trams will run every 12-15 minutes throughout the day.” It had previously been hoped that trams would begin running in late May, and to bring them back into operation as quickly as possible some will temporarily run without the blue vinyl branding around the doors. In an earlier announcement, an MML spokesperson said that the operator “remains very confident” that a full service will be in operation in good time ahead of this summer’s Commonwealth Games which are due to start on 27 July. The Commonwealth Games, held every four years, are scheduled to last for two weeks. The latest MML statement added that “we continue to work closely with the manufacturer to accelerate the repair programme and, as more trams become available, we will review the service that we are able to provide. “We are sorry for the...