TfL give update on RAIB recommendations progress

It is now two years since the tragic derailment at Sandilands on London Tramlink which saw seven people die as a result of the tram coming off the rails as a result of it overspeeding. On the anniversary of the tragedy Transport for London have given an update into progress on the 15 recommendations the RAIB made in their full investigation report with some local politicians and those affected by the incident having recently been criticising the perceived lack of progress to improve safety on the network.

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The wait goes on for Preston – now funding is sought

It seems to be one of those stories which keeps on coming around – the return of trams to Preston in the form of the proposed Trampower project. With the plans for a short demonstration line seemingly having stalled again with no apparent progress on the construction works Preston Trampower are now seeking partners to fund the £25 million project – described as the “last part of the jigsaw”.

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Passenger satisfaction up on NET

A new survey undertaken on behalf of Keolis, operators of Nottingham Express Transit, has shown that 96% of passengers are satisfied with the service – this is a major increase on other recent surveys which have had a lower sample size (although there can be many variables for these differences of course).

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In Pictures: Talk Talk adverts for M5000s 3040 & 3088

They just keep coming, those vinyl wraps on trams in Manchester! The latest sponsor to advertise on the trams is Talk Talk with not one but two of the M5000 trams receiving new vinyls this week. As usual both trams retain standard fleet livery at each end with the advertising vinyls then added to the remainder of the tram. Using a black base colour the big difference on this advert is the lack of use of contravision! Yes, that’s right the advert has kept the windows clear with signwriting and pictures only on the bodyside. Whether this change extends to any other future advertising contracts is probably pretty doubtful but at least its a change on two trams!

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In Pictures: 399 206 joins the Tram Train fleet

As we’ve covered previously the fleet of seven Citylink Tram-Trains now in service on Supertram are split into two sub-fleets: the Tram-Train fleet and the conventional system fleet. The plan is that four trams will have the Tram-Train wheel profile with the remaining three being having wheels fitted to operate on the conventional tramway. Unfortunately, all good plans and all that have seen these plans changed as 399 204 is out of service following its collision and derailment last month which has left the Tram-Train flee down one vehicle. As a result 399 206 has now joined the Tram-Train capable fleet joining 399 201, 399 202 and 399 203 as being available to operate the service between Cathedral and Rotherham Parkgate.

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Birkenhead 20 and the Trawler on tour for British Trams Online

On Wednesday 7th November, the British Trams Online tour of the Blackpool tramway took place, taking two very different trams around the coastal system. This acted as a farewell trip for Birkenhead 20 which was making its final appearance before heading home to the Wirral, whilst illuminated Trawler 737 was also used to offer a full system tour to participants.

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Picture in Time: Nottingham Express Transit 201

We’re off to Nottingham for today’s edition of Picture in Time with a view of one of the vinyl wrap adverts carried on the trams.

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Luas passengers remain satisfied with service

Despite problems with reliability experienced since the opening of the cross city extension last December the vast majority of passengers on Luas remain satisfied with the service according to a recent survey conducted on behalf of the National Transport Authority.

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In Pictures: A day at the Heaton Park Tramway in October

We haven’t covered the Heaton Park Tramway for a while but we remedy that here with a small selection of images taken at what is the only true preserved tramway in the UK on 21st October. On the day of Trevor Hall’s visit Hull 96 was forming the passenger service whilst Blackpool 623 was in use on a Driver Experience. Both trams are included below and we also take a look at Blackpool 619 and Stockport 5 which remain out of service undergoing some much needed work which hopefully see them ready and raring to go in the future to give even more variety in the operating fleet.

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In Pictures: Metro services return to South Shields

Tyne and Wear Metro services returned to South Shields on Sunday 4th November following the conclusion of the latest stage of works in connection with the £21 million new transport interchange, due to open in 2019. All services had been terminating at Chichester for the previous five weeks and now for the next six months platform 2 at Chichester will not be served by any trains.

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Picture in Time: Leeds 180

Its time for another change in Picture in Time as Blackpool takes a rest with Tuesdays now set to see other traditional trams featuring. And in the first instalment we are off to Crich for a view of a long standing member of the operational fleet – Leeds 180.

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Strike action on the way for Edinburgh Trams?

Edinburgh Trams services could be disrupted in the lead up to Christmas after the results of the consultative ballot into potential industrial action were released by the Unite union. As we reported a few weeks ago this ballot was undertaken as a result of what has been described as the unjust use of disciplinary procedures by management and although it gives the union it doesn’t give the legal right to strike with a further ballot required for this. The results of this consultative ballot saw 83% of drivers in favour of striking.

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Armed Forces to travel free out of uniform on Metrolink

Transport for Greater Manchester have reaffirmed their Armed Forces Covenant which will allow members of the Armed Forces to travel for free on Metrolink out of uniform. Regular or reserve members can travel for free after 0930 Mondays to Fridays and all day on weekends, Armistice Day, Remembrance Sunday and Armed Forces Day as long as a military identification card is carried.

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In Pictures: New advert for M5000 3007

Another week, another new advert on Manchester Metrolink. This time around the tram chosen is 3007 with the advertiser being National Geographic’s Mars 2 programme. Images from the series feature on the advert which is – once again – a full vinyl wrap (save for the end of the tram which retains fleet colours) including contravision on the windows. This isn’t the first time that 3007 has carried an advert with it having previously been in an advert for Crunchie.

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In Video: Sheffield Tram-Train service launches

As a companion to our Photo Gallery added this week on the start of the Tram-Train pilot between Sheffield and Rotherham we also bring you links to several videos from the start of operations showing this new service in action on the first day.

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This week on British Trams Online

Another double helping of Photo Galleries for you this week with coverage of two more significant events in the UK:

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Consultation launched for possible Tramlink extension to Sutton

It is a scheme which has been on the cards for a number of years but a new consultation has just been launched looking at the possibility of extending Tramlink through to Sutton. However, the consultation isn’t committed to the so-called Sutton Link being an extension of the current London Tramlink system with bus rapid transit also being considered. The consultation is a chance for the public to put their views across on three possible routes between Merton and Sutton.

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Around the World in Trams: Stuttgart 460

Today our world tour is back on mainland Europe as we head to Germany and the city of Stuttgart.

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In Pictures: Half Term at Beamish

The October Half Term is usually the last hurrah for many heritage tram lines across the UK of each year (until the inevitable Christmas rush with Santa specials running in some locations) and 2018 has been no different. With the daily afternoon heritage tours and evening illumination tours ongoing in Blackpool until the end of the weekend, over the other side of the country at Beamish the hardworking trams having also been continuing to work hard – aided by a spell of dry if not that warm weather. On Friday 2nd November a three tram service was in operation with the following views captured by Trevor Hall.

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In Pictures: Battery trams – and then there were five!

West Midlands Metro are now the proud operators of five battery fitted trams following the return to service of 28. The tram continues to run in the old Network West Midlands livery of Magenta and White – still leaving 31 as the only tram in the new Blue livery – and was first spotted operating in passenger service at the beginning of November.

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