The much delayed and troubled Trampower project in Preston has taken a tentative step forward with the start of works to clear the old Preston to Longridge railway line. Plans are in place for a short demonstration line between Skeffington Road and Deepdale Street to be operated although no timeframe has yet been revealed.
Approval had bene given for the project towards the end of 2016 but up until now there had been no visible signs of progress. Network Rail are undertaking the work which currently does just seem to be confined to clearing the overgrown vegetation and presumably the actual construction work (which will include a building to house the City Class tram, a platform and a station) will follow once this has been finished.
The demonstration line will be 0.8 miles long and is to be used for “training purposes, as a demonstrator for other local authorities and to raise public awareness of trams as a sustainable mode of transport”. If this line is considered a success plans remains for an extension which would eventually allow the carriage of passengers, plans for the extension were due to be submitted at the end of 2016.
* Photographs of the initial clearance work can be found on Blog Preston at http://www.blogpreston.co.uk/2017/01/old-railway-line-is-cleared-in-deepdale-ahead-of-tram-testing/.