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The first tram train in the UK has entered service between Rotherham and Sheffield due to a partnership between Network Rail, Stagecoach Supertram, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and the Department for Transport.
The launch marks the culmination of a pilot project to develop standards, infrastructure and ways of working which allows the vehicle to run on both Sheffield’s tramlines and the rail network.
Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Rail, said: “The first tram-train journey is a milestone moment that will give commuters cleaner, more frequent and more reliable journeys across Sheffield and Rotherham.
“This pioneering project brings together innovation, state-of-the-art technology and our existing infrastructure to give passengers better journeys. It lays the groundwork for ambitious transport schemes right across the country that should give commuters more choice.”
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, added: “The project has been a complex one and it is genuinely exciting to be ready to welcome the first passengers onboard. Tram Train will bring new choices for travellers in this area, supporting jobs and the local economy. It’s also important to us at Network Rail, as the national infrastructure provider, as it gives us different options when we are looking to improve connections between communities across Britain.”
Stagecoach Supertram’s Managing Director, Tim Bilby, said: “We know that our passengers are as excited as we are about this launch and we can’t wait to hear what they think about it. This Tram Train service offers a quick, environmentally-friendly and good value alternative for this busy commuting route, and also opens up leisure and retail venues to people across the wider city region.”
South Yorkshire’s Tram Train pilot will run for two years while customer satisfaction, passenger numbers, reliability and costs are tested. Tram Train will then continue to run as part of the Supertram system.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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