The first Tram-Train for the UK pilot scheme in Sheffield has begun its journey from Vossloh’s Valencia works to the UK.
The 37-metre long Citylink Class 399 vehicle will travel by boat from Santander to Southampton, where it will arrive on 28 November. It will then be moved by road to South Yorkshire, where it is due to arrive on 1 December.
The vehicle is the first of seven being built by Vossloh for the pilot scheme, which will see tram-trains run over the Supertram network from Sheffield city centre to Meadowhall, where they will access the heavy rail network by means of a new chord before running on to Rotherham.
The project has suffered a number of delays, chiefly with the infrastructure works required, and tram-train services over this route are now not due to start until 2017, although the vehicles will be introduced onto the existing Supertram network in May 2016 to enhance capacity. They will be based at Supertram’s Nunnery Square depot, which has been modified to accommodate them.
Speaking on behalf of the Tram Train project team, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s Executive Director Steve Edwards said: ‘Tram Train will demonstrate the potential, both locally and nationally, of this new technology to deliver value for money services. It will provide a boost to the regional economy, thanks to improved connections across the region. And, if the pilot is successful, it opens the way for Tram Trains to be introduced in other parts of the country.’