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UK Very Light Rail Conference

The UK's Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre is due to open later this year.

The second UK Very Light Rail (VLR) Conference will take place on Thursday 16 June at the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology in Dudley; neighbour and partner to the new GPB32m Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC).

Due to open later this year, construction of the VLRNIC has been enabled through funding from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and the European Regional Development Fund. Some areas of the centre are already open, including the test track used for vehicle evaluation.

Urban VLR – designed to make urban light rail more affordable for small- to medium- sized towns and cities.

Attendees at this year’s VLR Conference will hear from the teams involved in the Coventry VLR project – designed to make urban light rail installation more affordable for small- to medium- sized towns and cities – and Revolution VLR, a hybrid vehicle aimed at the re-opening of disused rail lines. The conference also includes keynote addresses from Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, and Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The one-day event – running from 09.00 to 16.00 – is being organised by the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO) and its partners at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Coventry City Council, WMG, at the University of Warwick, and Rider Levett Bucknall.

Delegates will gain detailed insight into the VLR concepts and the future of rail-based public transport, focusing on topics such as:

  • What is VLR and why is it important?
  • What progress has been made to date? And by whom?
  • What technologies have been developed and will be further developed in the future?
  • What is BCIMO doing to develop the market, technologies, manufacturing supply chains and workforces?

Revolution VLR – a next-generation hybrid vehicle aimed at the re-opening of disused rail lines.

Nick Mallinson, BCIMO Chief Executive Officer, said:“I am delighted that after a couple of unfortunate postponements due to COVID, the UK VLR Conference will proceed in June this year. Having been an advocate of VLR since 2014, it is extremely rewarding to witness its increasing recognition as an important future transport mode, and I believe that the Coventry and Revolution projects signify the start of a very exciting journey for the VLR industry.

“Through the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre,
our aim is to
take a collaborative approach to support the development of the VLR market, together with the technologies, supply chains and future workforces required to support this.”

 

While physical attendance is limited, the event is also being live streamed. To register as a virtual attendee please visit www.bcimo.co.uk/events/vlr-conference