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Train-tram Rotherham – Sheffield link

Tuesday, October 6 2009

Stadtbahn01

Stadtbahn train from Heilbronn to Karlsruhe. Photo Klaus.

(Click to see picture in original context and for details of licensing.)

On 15 September, Chris Mole, Minister for  Rail, announced plans  to test tram-trains on a new service linking Rotherham and Sheffield in South Yorkshire. Once a feasibility study has been completed, the project would take three years and £24m to get up and running.

Five electric tram-trains would run on existing freight track from Rotherham and then join the Sheffield Supertram network. The scheme replaces a previously-announced tram-train trial on the Penistone Line, linking Sheffield and Huddersfield via Barnsley, which would have used diesel-powered vehicles.

Tram trains were originally mooted in 1975 for the Tyne and Wear Metro which runs over former freight lines, but because of regulatory issues the Metro trains were given exclusive access to the former BR lines. However, in 2002, with the opening of its Sunderland extension, the Metro became the first UK system to implement a form of the Karlsruhe model, using track shared with main-line trains on the section between Pelaw and Sunderland.

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