Sheffield is now the proud home of two tram-trains following the arrival of 399 202 on Tuesday 24th May. The vehicle was delivered one piece (unlike the recent arrivals for Midland Metro) and has now been unloaded and moved into the workshops at Nunnery Square where its long road to entering service will now progress.
It was back on 30th November 2015 that the first of the vehicles – constructed by Vossloh at their Valencia works in Spain – arrived in Sheffield and after much fanfare 10 days later which saw the tram officially unveiled to the press 399 201 has been undergoing testing and commissioning. As the first of its type to be delivered the commissioning programme is a detailed process which started off being confined to the depot grounds before it started to be allowed out and about on the network. It is believed that this original vehicle has only been out on the main Supertram network after dark so far.
There are seven of these tram-trains on order for Supertram with four of them required for the much delayed pilot service to Rotherham Parkgate and the remainder ordered to increase capacity on the current network. It is expected that the first of the vehicles will enter service on Supertram services later this year although no further details have yet been announced as to when this will happen. When the full fleet is available and the tram-train pilot is up and running it is understood that there four trams for Rotherham will be more or less dedicated to that service as the wheel profiles required will be different and although there will be a spare set of Supertram wheelsets at Nunnery Square these are unlikely to be swapped over on a regular basis.