Sheffield’s delayed tram-train project should now be up and running by early 2017, project bosses have announced.
The £60m project - originally announced in 2009 - has been delayed several times, with the most recent target of having it in place by spring 2016 scrapped last month due to design work complications.
But a revised timetable for the pilot project has now been revealed, following the Sheffield City Region devolution deal recently announced by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg that included a Government commitment to support the scheme.
The Stagecoach-operated scheme is intended to allow specialist vehicles to run between Rotherham and Sheffield, using the freight route from Rotherham and joining the Supertram network at Meadowhall South.
From early 2017, three Tram Train services will run each hour. The pilot will run for an initial two years, with a view to making the route permanent, and tickets will be fully integrated with Supertram.
It is expected to create 35 new jobs.
A consultation on the proposals for work on the tramway at Meadowhall will take place in January and February.
Network Rail route managing director Phil Verster said: “Tram Train will bring lasting benefits to passengers in the Sheffield and Rotherham areas, and detailed design of the infrastructure to support this exciting project is well under way. We assessed our delivery programme and the work needed to adapt the network is expected to be complete to allow Tram Train passenger services to start in January 2017.
“The revised project timescale is also allowing us to improve the alignment of the route at Meadowhall, better utilising the existing tramway stop and creating an improved experience for the passenger.”
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive interim director general Ben Still said: “The first of seven Tram Trains will arrive in September 2015 for testing and people will be able to travel on them on the Supertram network before October 2016.”
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