Testing of the UK’s first tram train vehicles is taking place on South Yorkshire’s Supertram system in preparation for passenger services starting in 2018.
The £58 million scheme will provide a direct transport connection from Sheffield city centre to Rotherham Central and Parkgate, travelling on both tram lines and the national rail network.
Initial testing and mileage accumulation of the seven tram trains delivered and commissioned for the scheme is now underway.
Stephen Edwards, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s executive director, said: "People in Sheffield will start seeing the new vehicles running 'out of service' in-between scheduled trams. This important testing is making sure the vehicles and the existing Supertram system are working as they should.
“Driver training will commence shortly and we aim to put the Citylink vehicles into service to supplement Supertram services from this summer. The vehicles will then be tested on the heavy rail network early next year, before going into Tram Train passenger service.”
Future work includes the construction of a new section of track called the 'Tinsley Chord' to link the tram system to the rail line between Sheffield and Rotherham, building new tram train platforms at Rotherham Central and Parkgate, and the electrification of the network.
The project is being delivered by SYPTE, Stagecoach Supertram, Network Rail, Arriva Rail North and the Department for Transport.