From: A Oldfield, Secretary, Huddersfield, Penistone & Sheffield Rail Users Association.
THE tram-train trial in Sheffield, subject to further delay, remains shrouded by spin and speculation, exemplified by the fact that it will serve Meadowhall South and not Meadowhall Interchange, whereas rail does.
Since the trial was sanctioned it has been overtaken by events, in particular the emergence of Rail North, created to deliver a long term programme of investment. So where exactly does this leave the tram-train?
The response to the scrapping of the Leeds trolleybus project saw calls being made for tram-train, even though it has yet to turn a single wheel, but those taking this stance should note that Metro previously rejected this for Leeds-Horsforth and Wakefield Kirkgate-Knottingley.
Northern England’s rail lines have contributed to passenger numbers almost doubling over the past 20 years. There is precious little remaining to extract from the existing infrastructure, so for many routes to realise their full potential now is the time for long overdue investment, which is vital to enable them to reach the next plateau.