More snow woe for Supertram

Of all the tram systems in the UK Stagecoach Supertram suffers most when snow falls with its large amount of street running and the height of parts of the route and the past few days has once again seen some disruption to services, although as is always the case a lot of the delays have been caused by broken down or abandoned cars blocking the tracks. This latest batch of snow started to fall late on Wednesday 28th January and that evening saw the first disruption which continued for much of the following day.

The first snowfall affected City Road which meant no trams were able to run to Halfway or Herdings Park with services from Malin Bridge and Cathedral being turned at Sheffield Station. Initially it was possible for trams from Halfway to run as far as Gleadlees Townend but this service was briefly suspended although the evening did run with a full service in operation.

Onto Thursday 29th January and with an ice breaker tram in operation throughout the night it was possible for a full service to commence – not that this lasted for long! Delays soon started to develop with City Road and Birley Lane again proving difficult for cars which in turn led to trams being delayed and the timetable was out of the window with an attempt made just to run as good a service as was possible.

As the day developed things started to get worse and a points failure at Middlewood compounded problems meaning that at one stage services were running between Meadowhall and Malin Bridge and from Birley Moor Road to Malin Bridge with no trams running at all to Herdings Park or Halfway due to the amount of traffic in these areas (at one stage three trams were stuck on City Road). Fortunately trams did manage to return to full operation on the Blue and Yellow routes by the early afternoon but the poor old Purple route ended up remaining suspended for the rest of the day.

With the weather conditions improving overnight, Friday 30th January started with a full service able to operate on all routes.

And the bad news? There is more snow forecast for South Yorkshire next week!

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6 Responses to More snow woe for Supertram

  1. John Gilbert says:

    But first generation Sheffield trams didn’t stop running because there was snow – in fact that fact was commemorated in the Light Railway Transport League’s very motto, “Through rain, fog and snow, the trams keep running”!!

    • Gareth Prior says:

      But the first generation Sheffield trams didn’t have to out up with motorists abandoning their cars on the track. The majority of the problems Supertram have to cope with during snow is other road users not thinking about how they might inconvenience anyone else by where they have left their car and also in particularly bad snow staff not being able to get into work due to the snow.

  2. John Stewart says:

    If only today’s society took a more robust view of these matters we would have works trams with cow/car catchers and rubbing strakes on track clearance duties!

  3. Nigel Pennick says:

    Re: the first generation trams operating in snow, we really don’t have full records of how they fared in every winter they operated. Maybe they did stop operating for a few hours like they do to-day until the snow was cleared. But unless we can find a day-to-day historical record of tram operation, complete with blockages, breakdowns, etc. we have no real knowledge of how the trams really coped with bad winters. And there were fewer other road vehicles to cope with at the time, too.

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