The development of the UK’s first tram-train network has reached a major milestone after the installation of a ‘crucial’ junction. This Easter, Network Rail completed the track connection at Tinsley that will link Sheffield’s Supertram network with the national rail network. From the junction, a new section of track called the Tinsley Chord will be built to allow services to travel between Sheffield and Rotherham from 2018.

Credit: Network Rail

Plans for the Sheffield to Rotherham Tram Train Pilot were first announced in 2009. The Department for Transport awarded South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) £51 million to undertake a two-year pilot, which is due to be open from 2018, with project partners Network Rail, Northern Rail and Stagecoach Supertram. The tram-train service will provide better connections between Rotherham and Sheffield and aims to reinvigorate the local economy. The success of the pilot will help determine whether tram-trains can run in other parts of the country.

Simon Coulthard, senior sponsor for Network Rail, said: “Tram Train is an entirely new way of travelling for the UK and will allow us to improve how we meet the needs of the communities and economies our transport networks serve.

Credit: Network Rail

“This is a challenging project and there is still much to do, including the construction of the tram stops at Rotherham Central and Parkgate and the completion of the overhead line power system.

“The work we have completed this Easter is a crucial step forward as we continue work with our partners to deliver the full Tram Train service from Sheffield city centre to Rotherham Central and Parkgate next year.”

Work also began on College Road bridge, Rotherham, this Easter. The bridge will be demolished and replaced during the late May bank holiday (May 27 and 28) to create the clearance for new overhead line equipment.