Very Light Rail track installed in Coventry for testing

A short section of the unique track system being developed for the Coventry Very Light Rail scheme has been installed at Coventry City Council’s Whitley Depot. This is said to be a significant step forward for the project and the performance of the track will now be measured under extreme conditions.

The track has been developed for the project which is much thinner than tracks used on existing light rail systems whilst still being just as strong. This means it only needs to be laid 30cm deep into the surface of the road, reducing the need to divert pipes and cables.

Vibration sensors have been installed in the track that takes measurements 10 times a second and weight-in-motion sensors that will weigh vehicles while they move across the track. Data is set to be collected for year and fed into a digital twin computer model which will allow the Council’s innovation partners, WMG at the University of Warwick, to evaluate the performance of the track over time.

Speaking about the installation of the track, Cllr Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change, commented: “The tracks we’ve installed here at Whitley Depot represent hundreds of hours of innovation that have taken place right here in Coventry. They were designed from day one to minimise disruption to people and businesses, and we’re excited to see their strength demonstrated in a real-world environment.   Our own Council road team laid them too – which is great and supports our aim of ensuring CVLR creates and safeguards jobs in our city. Transport innovation has the opportunity to really support a zero carbon economy and Coventry is leading the green industrial revolution.  Not only will we be the UK’s first all-electric bus city, we have already installed more electric vehicle charge points than anywhere outside London, and we’re investing in new fully segregated cycleways to give more people greener options to move about our city.”

This is just one part of a range of testing planned which will demonstrate the longevity of this type of track. A length has been laid at the University of Warwick to test installation and more will also be laid at the Very Light Rail Innovation Centre in Dudley which will allow the Coventry Very Light Rail vehicle to be tested for the first time.

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1 Response to Very Light Rail track installed in Coventry for testing

  1. Nigel Pennick says:

    Coventry will not be the UK’s first electric bus city – Ipswich was all electric, running only trolleybuses from the 1920s until 1950. So Ipswich was the first all-electric bus city.

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