Plans to build a new section of railway to allow the UK’s first tram-trains to run in South Yorkshire have been approved by the Department for Transport.
A joint Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application was made to the Secretary of State for Transport earlier this year by Network Rail and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to develop the Tinsley Chord to allow the new Super Tram vehicles to join the existing rail network.
Now the TWAO has been confirmed, Network Rail can begin work on the 160 metres of new track, overhead lines to carry the electricity to power the tram-trains, as well as constructing a small building to house lineside equipment.
Once completed, the European-style tram-trains will be able to run between Britain’s rail and tram network for the first time and will provide a direct service between Sheffield city centre, Rotherham Central railway station and Parkgate retail park.
Andrew Penny, area director for Network Rail, 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.”
Steve Edwards, Executive Director for SYPTE, added:
“We welcome approval of the TWAO for Tinsley Chord. 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.”