Sheffield tram-train pilot testing starts (Rail Technology Mag)

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“Testing has finally begun on the UK’s first tram-train vehicles which are expected to be rolled out onto the network in 2018. The pilot scheme marks the first count of tram-trains in the UK and will provide a direct connection between Sheffield city centre and Rotherham Central and Parkgate by operating on both the tram and train network.

“Initial testing and mileage accumulation for the seven Citylink tram-trains kicked off today as engineers looked to prepare the rolling stock for its formal introduction next year. Three of the Citylink Class 399 vehicles will run on the Supertram network and three will run as tram-trains between Sheffield and Parkgate, with one left as spare.

“The project, which was originally meant to begin running in 2015, has been delayed a number of times due to traction problems, but today’s news may signal that real progress has been made on rolling out the pilot. Last month, RTM reported that the project had finally been given a completion date of summer 2018 – a full two and a half years later than originally planned.

“Rail leaders now hope that the potential success in Sheffield will open the doors for the expansion of tram-trains to similar projects across the country…”

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Written by Long Branch Mike