11 July 2008

Possible tram-trains for York

Plans are being considered for a new tram-train link between York and Leeds that, whilst not likely to be operational for "many years" would significantly improve the daily commute those living along the rail line currently linking the two cities currently have.

The call for a proposed tram-train link has come following a study that has been backed by York City Council and Leeds City Region, which combine a total of 10 local authorities. Local councillors have unveiled details yesterday while officially endorsing the proposal. This comes as trials are taking place on the 17-mile Penistone Line (Sheffield, Barnsley and Huddersfield), serving 37 stations, which, if successful could see tram-trains operational by 2010. Much of the York-Leeds proposal will rely heavily on success here.

The Penistone Line scheme will see tram-trains replace conventional rail services for a minimum of two years.

Commenting on the study advocating the York-Leeds scheme, Steve Galloway from York City Council said: "The tram-trains are faster, more economical and have the ability to go off heavy rail tracks. In the Leeds area this could be a real advantage as the tracks could be developed away from the station and existing tracks. Because the tram-trains are lighter than trains, they can be used on existing road infrastructure, such as bridges, so an extension is more practical."