THE Rotherham tram-train is a possible prototype for a new transit system for other locations.
Placed in the context of Leeds, it would run as a street tramway in the city centre but divert to run on or alongside existing rail lines through congested inner city areas and return to being a street tramway in suburban shopping centres, housing estates and park and ride car parking areas.
The tram-train from Sheffield Cathedral takes a route alongside roads or behind industrial estates to a point near the Tinsley motorway viaduct.
At Tinsley, the tram halts briefly so as to engage with the railway signalling system before continuing to Rotherham on the same tracks as local passenger trains.
This is a British version of a system which was introduced some years ago in Germany and the South Yorkshire experiment has proved that it works successfully, the only remaining question being if it would be worthwhile to extend it to a terminus in the shopping centre at Mexborough.