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15 September 2009
The UK's first tram-train trials will now be held on the current
rail freight route from Rotherham joining the Sheffield Supertram
network at Meadowhall Interchange.
Responding to the news, Metro Chairman Cllr Ryk Downes said, "I
am very pleased to see these that the revised plan for these trials
will now test the very essence of tram-trains' advantage, which is
the integration and transfer between heavy and light rail, using an
"We have led the calls to bring
tram-trains to the UK and think tram-trains could provide an
effective link between the Harrogate rail line and lines into the
very heart of Leeds. This Sheffield trial will now evaluate exactly
that transfer, from running on the traditional train network to an
on-street, tram-style operation.
"We believe that in addition to
increasing much-needed capacity, the reduced running costs of
running tram-trains on the busy Leeds, Harrogate, York line could
provide opportunities to develop new lines into town and city
centres, extend routes into areas of growing employment and create
a much-needed link to Leeds Bradford International Airport.
"I hope that this trial will avert the
need for a further trial on a heavy-rail line, and as such will
reduce the overall trial period so that we might see tram-train in
Leeds City Region much sooner than the government had originally
"Metro has been calling for a reduced
trial period as the technology is already in use in many parts of
Europe, so I am pleased that the government has listened to this