In Review: Sheffield: From Tram to Tram-Train

We often start our reviews of books on modern tram systems with a similar line to – you don’t get many books dedicated to our modern tram systems but as more and more are released that seems to no longer be the case! The latest book comes from Platform 5 and is on the Supertram system in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

Platform 5 are, of course, based in Sheffield and so they have plenty of information and pictures on the Supertram system which has now been running around the region for 26 years. This book is a follow-on to a book released in the mid-1990s (Tram to Supertram) but it is far more than just an update to that book with far more detailed information included by the joint authors Ian Beardsley, Robert Pritchard and Alan Yearsley.

The book starts off with a brief look at tramways in the UK both old and new before it takes a look at Sheffield’s original tram system. There is then information on the plans for a new tramway in Sheffield leading to the final Supertram project and then there is a detailed look at the construction of the system, the trams, the three original routes, track renewal works and ticketing on the system. The book then concludes with a look at the tram-train project to Rotherham Parkgate including analysis on the problems this encountered during its gestation period.

The book isn’t entirely text as each and every one of the tram and tram-trains are pictured at least one in the book. There is also a section om advert and non-standard liveries and for someone like me who loves a list there are plenty of those in the book including on the advert liveries and delivery dates of the trams to Sheffield.

All in all this is a highly recommended book which should be a valuable addition to anyone interested in the UK’s modern tramways bookshelf. With Platform 5 also promising in the introduction a book on each of the UK’s modern tramway as well I for one can’t wait to see those!

* Sheffield: From Tram to Tram-Train by Ian Beardsley, Robert Pritchard and Alan Yearsley is published by Platform 5. Priced at £17.95 it is available directly from Platform 5 at

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