The pioneering project to construct the UK’s first tram train system achieved a major milestone over Easter as the track connection between South Yorkshire’s Supertram network and the heavy rail network was installed.
The critical junction connection that will provide the physical link between the two networks network will sit at the start of a new 400m section of track called the Tinsley Chord.
The link will allow services to travel between Sheffield and Rotherham from 2018.
Simon Coulthard, senior Sponsor for Network Rail, said: ‘It is really exciting to see the physical connection in place that will allow passengers to pass seamlessly between the Supertram and rail network.
‘Tram train is an entirely new way of travelling for the UK and will allow us to improve how we meet the needs of the communities and economies our transport networks serve.’
South Yorkshire’s tram train pilot will help the rail industry understand and assess the technical issues involved with planning and operating a tram train service. It will be the first time a tram train system has operated in the UK.
The project was originally due to be completed in early 2017.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) was awarded £51m from the Department for Transport to undertake the pilot, with project partners Network Rail, Northern Rail and Stagecoach Supertram.
Learning gained from the pilot will help determine whether tram trains can run in other parts of the country.