Sheffield's £58m tram-train project delayed again

One of the new tram-train vehicles
One of the new tram-train vehicles
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A £58m plan for a new tram-train link between Sheffield and Rotherham has been delayed yet again.

The scheme to enable trams to run on existing train tracks between Sheffield, Meadowhall and Rotherham was originally due to start in 2015 but has been subject to a series of delays.

It is now understood the link will not start operating until summer 2018 at the earliest.

But the seven special vehicles needed to run on both train and tram lines have already been delivered to Sheffield and will be used on the Supertram network from next year.

A South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive spokesman said: “Network Rail is currently in discussion with the Department for Transport about the review of the current programme of works needed to adapt the infrastructure to operate Tram Train vehicles between Meadowhall South and Rotherham Parkgate.

"SYPTE hopes to receive confirmation on the rescheduled programme and an expected passenger service start date from Network Rail before the end of the year.

“Work to the tram network, depot modifications and the vehicle delivery programme is on schedule, with seven new Stadler Citylink vehicles now in Sheffield.

"Initial testing is nearing completion, and driver familiarisation will soon begin before these vehicles enter into public service on the existing Supertram network, expected in early 2017.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are currently in discussion with the Department for Transport about the review of the current programme of works needed to adapt the infrastructure to operate the tram train vehicles between Meadowhall South and Rotherham Parkgate.

Next steps will be announced in due course.”