Coventry Very Light Rail vehicle to be displayed at MotoFest

The public will get their first chance to see the future of public transport in Coventry at the MotoFest event with the Coventry Very Light Rail vehicle, simulator and first track all set to be on display. The MotoFest celebrations take place between Friday 2nd and Sunday 4th June and the Very Light Rail project will be taking centre stage for the first time.

Experts will be on hand to explain the key features and innovations of Very Light Rail. A state of the art simulator will also be visiting the city for the first time, this features three screens for a near perfect view of the first city centre demonstrator route.

Cllr O’Boyle, Coventry City Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change, said: “MotoFest is a brilliant celebration of Coventry’s automotive past, present and future. So it’s incredibly exciting that for the first time people will be able to get on board the Coventry Very Light Rail vehicle, which has made use of Coventry’s automotive expertise to make it more affordable to install for smaller and medium-sized cities and towns.

“Coventry Very Light Rail is just one part of the Council’s climate change strategy, putting our city at the forefront of the green industrial revolution. Not only will we be the UK’s first all-electric bus city by 2025, but we’ve also installed more electric vehicle charge points than any city outside London. And we’re not stopping there – we’re committed to opening more high-quality segregated cycle lanes and planting over 300,000 trees and we have lots of other initiatives that we are developing with our partners.

“These innovations will help to address climate change – but the green industrial revolution is also about the jobs of the future – jobs we want for local people right here in our city.

“I hope people will enjoy the chance to see the vehicle on the road as it would be when it proves the technology in the city centre – its slick and impressive, accessible and of course it will run quietly with zero emissions.”

Its hoped that the Very Light Rail project will be able to drive down costs of installing a light rail system. The Coventry system will include an innovative track design and the vehicle will run on battery power removing the need for the installation of overhead wires. It will also be able to turn tighter corners and so can easily be retrofitted to existing roads.

The simulator will also be visiting Coventry for the first time. It showcase a 3D model of the City Demonstrator route, a planned short section of track from Coventry Railway Station to Pool Meadow Bus Station.

Neil Fulton, Chief Executive Officer of the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO), said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the Transport Systems Simulator, part of our investment into making sure BCIMO is a world-class hub for transport innovation. While it’s designed to be accessible for driver training, we’re also going to be offering this as a facility for our research partners to allow them to do cutting-edge work on Very Light Rail and other transport systems.

“The transport systems simulator is a key part of our strategy to be a national hub for Rail innovation, driving forward transport innovation and supporting transport modes that combat climate change. I look forward to seeing the simulator in action at MotoFest and, in the future, helping us train the first generation of Very Light Rail drivers and how these vehicles integrate into the broader transport network.”

The vehicle and track will be on display on the off-ramp from junction six of the Coventry Ring Road with the simulator on the ring road overpass throughout the weekend.

James Noble, MotoFest Coventry Festival Director, commented: “We are very excited to host the Coventry Very Light Rail (CVLR) vehicle, track and a first-of-a-kind CVLR simulator and give huge thanks to Coventry City Council for providing the opportunity for MotoFest visitors to see and experience it for the first time. As a result of MotoFest Coventry’s event partnership with E.ON Drive and Coventry City Council, we are in an incredibly strong position to showcase the best in sustainable transport, low carbon motoring and advanced automotive and electric vehicle technology, with the CVLR among the highlights of the exhibits on display.

“The CVLR will be at the heart of our new Future Technology Zone featuring a range of EV and alternatively fuelled vehicles on display, autonomous vehicle demonstration runs and drone displays – all of which are set to provide an electrifying spectacle across the festival weekend.”

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