Tuesday, April 4, 2017

News: New bridge needed at Rotherham Central Station

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The bridge at College Road, one of the key routes into Rotherham town centre, needs to be replaced as part of the £60m Sheffield-Rotherham tram train project.

The pilot project, first mentioned in 2009, will see vehicles running on both rail and tram networks, using the freight route from Rotherham and then joining the Sheffield Supertram network at Meadowhall South.

The project has been delayed a number of times as Network Rail get to grips with some of the heavy rail modifications, including power, track modifications, approvals and testing and commissioning. The service is expected to begin in Summer 2018.

Network Rail needs to demolish and install a new bridge at Rotherham Central station as the current one does not have enough room for the overhead lines which will power the innovative vehicles.

To allow the bridge to be replaced, College Road will be closed for 18 weeks from Friday April 14 to Friday August 18 2017.

A temporary footbridge will be installed to allow pedestrians to access the town centre from Masbrough. Town centre traffic and local bus services approaching from Corporation Street will be diverted from Bridge Street to Centenary Way via Greasbrough Road.

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Rob Cairns, route delivery director for Network Rail, said: "We recognise that 18 weeks is a long time for the road to be closed and thank locals for their patience while we complete this essential part of this exciting project. Tram Trains will bring new travel choices for people living in South Yorkshire as well as being a first for the UK.

"This is a challenging project and there is still much to do, including the construction of the Tram Train stops at Rotherham Central and Parkgate and the completion of the overhead line power system. The work we have planned at the May bank holiday is a crucial step forward as we work with our partners to deliver the full Tram Train service from Sheffield city centre to Rotherham Central and Parkgate next year."

When up and running, three tram trains an hour will travel between Sheffield and Rotherham. The running time from Parkgate to Cathedral will be about 25 minutes.

On the bank holiday weekend, May 27 and 28, the old bridge will be demolished using a crane which will be based on Council land at the back of George Street. Work will also be carried out to bring the signalling system which controls Tram Train movements into operation. In order to complete this work safely, trains will be diverted between Meadowhall and Swinton and will not stop at Rotherham Central. Buses will run between Meadowhall and Swinton, calling at Rotherham Central.
Extending the network, the Department for Transport (DfT) is the client in the tram-train project, with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) responsible for the delivery of all of the light rail modifications, rail replacement and procurement of the seven vehicles. Network Rail is separately responsible to DfT to deliver the heavy rail modifications required for the project.

Stephen Edwards, executive director for SYPTE, said: "Passengers in South Yorkshire will be the first in the country to benefit from pioneering Tram Trains. The pilot has the ability to transform transport connections both locally and nationally, and the College Road bridge engineering work is an important milestone towards making Tram Trains a reality from 2018."

Further enabling work took place around Tinsley this past weekend where a 400m piece of track is being built to connect the rail and tram lines.

SYPTE website

Images: AHR Global / SYPTE


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