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LRSSB support for Tram/Train study

19 Jun 2024

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An ambitious project to set new guidance for future ‘Tram/Train’ schemes is being backed by the organisation driving tramway safety.

With growing interest in systems that combine aspects of both heavy and light rail, the LRSSB is helping to fund academic research that aims to provide clear guidance for future schemes.

 

Led by the Institute of Railway Research at the University of Huddersfield, the study aims to address the lack of standardisation for Tram/Train projects while promoting their many benefits.

 

Craig O’Brien, Head of Engineering and Innovation at the LRSSB, explained: “Designing and operating vehicles that can operate on both mainline railways and light rail networks can present numerous challenges, as can the infrastructure associated with such projects.

 

“However, Tram/Train offers significant benefits over the construction of new lines - not least in terms of cost and delivery times - and has already proved successful both in the UK and overseas.

 

“This project aims to ensure a common approach that should further reduce costs by reducing reliance on consultants during the design phase and promoting a common procurement process while supporting the business case for new schemes.

 

Including a thorough review of existing literature on the subject, the study will also identify areas requiring further research.

 

“This landmark project has the full backing of the LRSSB as we strive to lead the sector in establishing new standards for the sector and ensuring safety remains the number one priority from the design through to the operation of all light rail networks,” Craig added.

 

David Crosbee, Principal Industrial Fellow at the University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Railway Research, commented: “The project, proposed by Visiting Professor of Transport Richard Knowles, brings together industry partners and academia with the aim of addressing not only the engineering challenges associated with developing new Tram/Train schemes, but also the social and economic business case and transport policies.”

 

David also emphasised that collating the lessons learned from previous Tram/Train schemes in the UK and overseas will provide an invaluable knowledge base for future use of associated technology, in addition to identifying gaps in future research and standards.

 

The project is also supported by Network Rail, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the University of Huddersfield’s EPSRC and ESRC Impact Acceleration Accounts.

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