A completion date has finally been given for the construction of South Yorkshire's tram-train project - with work expected to finish on the £58m scheme two-and-a-half years later than first expected.
The scheme to enable trams to run on existing train tracks between Sheffield, Meadowhall and Rotherham - the first of its kind in the UK - was first announced in 2009 and originally due to be completed in 2015 but it has been subject to a series of delays.
However, project leaders Network Rail have confirmed for the first time that work will be finished in summer 2018. The rail infrastructure operator has informed all stakeholders about the new work schedule and apologised for the delays.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Whilst significant progress has been made on the ground, a full review has taken place over recent months and we are committed to delivering this pilot project through a revised programme.
“We’ve now updated all organisations involved that our revised programme will see the infrastructure complete during the summer of 2018."
There has been several delays over the last few years. Network Rail was initially unable to obtain a transport and works act order from the department for transport and then the scheme is believed to have encountered problems with new overhead lines.
Ahead of the launch, seven special vehicles needed to run on both train and tram lines will be used on the current Supertram network this year.
The construction work has already started and is being delivered by Carillion. It includes adapting tracks to allow the vehicles to run between Meadowhall South tram station and a new platform built at Rotherham Parkgate.