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Transport officials from Metro, and York visited
the German city of Karlsruhe to see how the city's highly
successful tram-trains could be used to help fight congestion in
the Leeds City Region.
Tram-trains are one of the elements of the £4.5bn 25-Year
Transport Vision drawn up by Metro for the Leeds City Region. They
are lightweight vehicles that run more frequently on existing rail
lines like trains as well as on streets like trams, and could be
used to transport people from York and Harrogate into the heart of
Leeds city centre.
"Savings made by using much lighter tram-trains on the York,
Harrogate rail line into Leeds, could be used to develop new
on-street routes into Leeds city centre, to employment growth areas
such as the Aire Valley and Five Towns and also to Leeds Bradford
International Airport," said Metro Chairman Councillor Ryk
"We need to investigate how we can use this modern technology to
alleviate our transport problems," said City of York Council
Leader, Councillor Steve Galloway. "Tram-trains could provide the
flexibility to bring passengers right into York as well as
providing essential links to new development sites at York Central
and British Sugar, with a park and ride site, and a direct link to
Leeds Bradford International Airport.
believe that this will contribute significantly towards a better
public transport system for York and the region as a whole.
Councillor Mike Gardner, Leader of Harrogate Council said,
"Growing numbers of people are commuting from the Harrogate area
into Leeds and we need to find a fast efficient way for them to
make the journey.
"The recently-introduced additional carriages on peak-time
services have provided much-needed extra capacity but tram-trains
would help to ensure we get the maximum efficiency from the
existing rail line and the chance to develop some important new
routes as well."
The visit included technical presentations about the vehicles
and the system's operation, and details of the benefits that tram
trains have brought to Karlsruhe and its region.
Network Rail and the Department for Transport (DfT) have
indicated that they are keen to carry out a trial for tram-trains
in the UK. Local transport leaders, including Leeds City Council
Deputy Leader Councillor Andrew Carter, are keen to see the trial
go ahead but not at the cost or inconvenience of passengers on the
already busy York, Harrogate, Leeds route.
"Carrying out the trial on the route would provide all the
information on reliability, frequency and costs that Network Rail
and the DfT require," he said. "We will be using the additional
information gained in Germany to impress this upon both
More information about Tram-Trains