Proposals for a trial into the use of “tram-trains”, which run on both urban light rail networks and on conventional train tracks, have been announced for South Yorkshire.
The vehicles use less fuel than normal trains and accelerate and decelerate faster, offering passengers a smoother and quicker journey.
During the trial, their environmental impact will be assessed along with operating costs, technical suitability and popularity among passengers.
On a visit to Meadowhall, where the the tram-trains will connect to the Sheffield Supertram network, rail minister Chris Mole MP said the transport is “new concept for Britain”. He added that tram-trains have “proved a valuable addition to rail fleets on the continent”.
He said the aim of the new type of transport will cut congestion and offer alternatives to car travel in short and medium commuting.
Mole said: “Adapting tram-train to the UK requires some testing, but while that is underway, people in South Yorkshire will have the chance to experience this new type of vehicle for themselves - and I hope they will tell us what they think of it.”