The UK’s very first tram train arrived in Sheffield on 30th November and since that time commissioning and testing has gradually been increased. A few weeks ago 399 201 (to give its full Network Rail number of just 201 for Supertram purposes) started to run from the depot at Nunnery Square through to Meadowhall outside of normal service hours but now over the past couple of days it has started to be tested on the street sections of Supertram into the city centre.
The first runs took place during the early hours of Monday 22nd February when 399 201 ran from the depot and ran through to Cathedral via Sheffield Station. As with all first tests of a new tram type in the UK this was completed at walking pace with all clearances checked as the vehicle went along. These runs included various crossovers and most parts of the delta junction.
Then just two days later it was time for 399 201 to stretch its wheels again with a move beyond Cathedral and as far as Shalesmoor. Again slow speed were runs were undertaken on the sections not previously traversed to check clearances and it would appear that there was nothing untoward to report.
Following the completion of these runs 399 201 has now covered all sections of the current Supertram network which the tram trains will use for their main purpose to and from Rotherham. However three of the vehicles will also be utilised on increasing capacity on the whole Supertram network so eventually testing will presumably take place on other sections.
Want to see some pictures of the test runs? Then why not visit Facebook page British Tramway News where you can find some stunning shots of 399 201 out and about under the night skies of Sheffield.