The UK is closer to getting its first tram-trains after the government gave the green light for a new section of railway to be built for the project.
The Department for Transport approved a transport and works order submitted by Network Rail and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) for the Tinsley Chord.
The scheme will see 160m of new track built in South Yorkshire to link existing rail and tram networks. Overhead lines will be constructed to power the tram-trains, and a small building created to house lineside equipment.
When the scheme is completed, European-style tram-trains will be able to run between Britain’s rail and tram networks for the first time. They will provide a direct service between Rotherham Central railway station, Parkgate retail park and Sheffield city centre.
Network Rail area director Andrew Penny said: “It’s good news for people in Sheffield and Rotherham that our application has been successful. Construction work on the ground can now get underway on this exciting project that will see the first tram-train service in Britain being piloted in Yorkshire.
“Network Rail is investing record amounts in improving Britain’s railway through our Railway Upgrade Plan and this scheme will give us and our partners a really valuable insight into the potential that tram-trains have to improve services for passengers in future.”
SYPTE executive director Steve Edwards added: “The tram-train pilot will provide a boost to the regional economy, thanks to improved local connections, and has the potential to open the way for tram-trains to be introduced in other parts of the UK.”