Tuesday, August 15, 2017

News: Tram-train engineering works continue

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A second phase of work to connect the heavy rail network with the existing Supertram network is set to be completed this weekend as the innovative tram-train vehicles are on track to begin services in 2018.

The innovative Sheffield-Rotherham tram-train pilot project is years late and significantly over-budget but is expected to provide a boost to the local economy by improving the connectivity between the city and town centres.

First mentioned in 2009, the £75m project 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. Services will run from Sheffield Cathedral through to Parkgate Shopping.

The second phase of work to assist in linking the Stagecoach Supertram network to the national rail network is currently underway, and will be completed on the weekend of August 19. 

As well as the completion of the second phase of signalling, the weekend of will also see work begin to install the new overhead line system, which will be used to power the vehicles.

The engineering work, which is being lead by contractors, Carillion, means that trains will not be able to call at Rotherham Central station. Northern and TransPennineExpress services are affected between Sheffield and Doncaster where connecting bus services will run instead.

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Simon Coulthard, senior sponsor for Network Rail, said: "Between Saturday 19 August and 0530 on Tuesday 22 August we will carry out work to link the new signalling for the Tram Trains into our existing systems. 

"In order to minimise disruption to passengers and our freight customers the main work will be carried out overnight each night and scaled back in the daytime to allow some trains to run on the main lines. Unfortunately, because of its location, it is not possible to run any trains to or from Rotherham Central and replacement road transport will be provided. 

"There will also be a number of Sundays where buses replace trains at Rotherham Central to allow us to safely install the new overhead power lines. I am grateful to passengers for their patience while we carry out this work for this exciting project."

Other work on the project continues with the new platforms at Parkgate and Rotherham Central stations progressing well. Due to the discovery of unmapped cables by the utility company, a road closure which is in place whilst work to raise College Road bridge in Rotherham takes place will have to be extended for an additional two weeks. The road will reopen on Friday September 1. 

Coulthard added: "We appreciate that this is disappointing to road users and we would like to thank them for their patience whilst we carry out this vital work. We are working closely with South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Rotherham Council on this issue. 

"We would like to reassure people that this issue will not in any way interfere with the completion date of the overall Tram Train project and we are still very much on track for the introduction of a full Tram Train service for passengers in 2018."

Echoing comments made earlier this month on the benefits of the project, Cllr. Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, said: "It's exciting to see all the various developments taking place in Rotherham right now, and the Tram Train project complements the Council's ambitious plans for the borough, with better transport links helping to attract more visitors and creating job opportunities."

Network Rail website
SYPTE website

Images: Network Rail / SYPTE


2 comments:

Anonymous,  August 15, 2017 at 12:40 PM  

Good luck with that. Single trip bus m-tickets are £1.80 each and the X1 goes from Maltby to Central Sheffield via Central Rotherham. Will the tram train return tickets between Sheffield and Rotherham be less than £3.60?

Tom,  August 15, 2017 at 4:13 PM  

I guess we'll find out next year (hopefully!).

By way of comparison, Supertram fares range from £1.70 to £2.40 for single trips and are £3 or £4 (day rider) for returns. The train is £3 between Rotherham Central and Sheffield and £4 for an anytime return.

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