Monday, December 16, 2019

News: The trials of the Sheffield-Rotherham tram-tram


Operators have been unable to run any of the innovative tram-trains between Rotherham and Sheffield following an issue with the vehicles.

Tram-trains stopped running on Friday evening due to a "tram engineering issue."

Stadler, the manufacturer of the vehicles, designed to run on both the city's tramlines and the rail network between Sheffield and Rotherham, issued advice on Saturday to operators, Stagecoach, who took the decision to stop running the well-used service.

Funded by the Department for Transport, the industry pilot is a partnership between South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), Network Rail and Stagecoach Supertram, to test the connectivity and economic potential of the technology to see if it can be used elsewhere.

Earlier in the month, Network Rail said that it had experienced some issues on the tram-train network due to freezing temperatures causing a loss of power.

Chris Gee, head of operations for the North East route at Network Rail, said last week: "We'd like to apologise to Supertram's passengers for the poor levels of tram service delivery on cold mornings.

"We've now made some adjustments to the settings of the overhead line equipment (it was too sensitive) and we are confident that we have resolved the problem.

"We continue to work with Supertram on improving the reliability of the tram-train service."


Stagecoach said last week that the manufacturer of the Citylink fleet was carrying out improvement modifications to the trams, including those vehicles used for the tram-train service, and was expected to be completed on Saturday December 14.

Instead, no tram-trains, have been operating over the weekend.

A new tram-train timetable, with changes to frequency and new later services, was due to begin this week. For example, the last tram-train back from Sheffield was previously at 22:00 but an extra service departing Cathedral at 22:44 is being introduced.

A promotional "After 8" ticket has also been intriduced. For just £2, customers can get unlimited travel from 8pm on Tram Train and Supertram services until the end of service, when boarding at Rotherham Central or Parkgate.

Additionally, the 31 space car park at Parkgate reserved for tram-train users has recently been extended to provide a total of 95 spaces, including two disabled bays and an area allocated for motorcycles.

Supertram website

Images: Stagecoach


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