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UK tram-train pilot faces further delays

A total of seven Vossloh tram-trains have been ordered for the UK's trial scheme. SYPTE

Further delays have been announced for the UK’s GBP60m tram-train pilot between Sheffield and Rotherham, with the Spring 2016 opening now being put back and no revised timetable as yet agreed.

A statement from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Network Rail claims design works for the interface for the heavy rail system and the Sheffield Supertram network are behind the delays, adding: “Tram Train passenger services will commence later than the Spring 2016 date originally programmed. This is due to delays in the design of the works required to adapt the heavy rail network to accommodate the Tram Train service.

“Network Rail, who is responsible for these works, is presently undertaking a detailed assessment of their delivery programme, and the project partners are committed to working with Network Rail to mitigate the delay as far as possible.

“Some of the delay arises from the project’s relationship with other heavy rail investment programmes in order to maximise efficiencies, such as signalling re-control.

“Good progress is being made on other aspects of the project, with vehicles being manufactured and works to the tramway and depot to accommodate Tram Trains well underway.

“A revised delivery programme for Tram Train will be announced in late 2014.”

The current scheme is the 2009 successor to a previously planned trial on the Sheffield – Huddersfield ‘Penistone Line’ that was announced in 2008. Final approval for the contract was agreed in June 2013, with initial hopes the scheme would be up and running by 2015.