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Scots join push for tram-train technology

Transport Scotland and Glasgow airport owner BAA are investigating the merits of building a tram-train link to the citry centre, it has been revealed.

Scottish transport minister Keith Brown revealed last week that Transport Scotland and BAA currently have a study group looking at the viability of such a link along with other measures to ease congestion and access to the airport. Plans for a £210M rail link to the airport were axed in 2009.

Light rail lobby group TramForward welcomed the move, which came in the same week that Network Rail launched a consultation on the use of tram-train technologies to deliver savings in capital, operating and maintenance costs of rail lines. It said this was “helpful” and that it hoped to hear of a positive outcome from the study group “shortly”.

A tram-train is a light-rail public transport system where trams run both on an urban tramway network and on main line railways to combine the tram’s flexibility and availability and the train’s greater speed.

The Karlsruhe model pioneered this concept in Germany, and it has since been adopted on projects such as the RijnGouweLijn in the Netherlands, Mulhouse in France and Kassel and Saarbrücken in Germany.

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