South Yorks tram-train plan needs more cash

ANOTHER £1.2million is needed for the Sheffield to Rotherham tram-train project, according to the Rotherham Business News website.

The money is needed for upgrading the Supertram depot and to cover increased costs.

The report quotes Sheffield City Region Combined Authority stating: “The estimated final cost of the SYPTE-led elements of the project have increased as a result of the proposed installation of an additional gantry at the Nunnery Square tram depot (not in the original project scope, but requested by Supertram due to operational difficulties in maintaining a larger fleet of vehicles); increased operational costs associated with the implementation of tram trains; and on-going prolongation costs incurred as a result of delays in entering into service.”

Tram-train No. 399203 calls at Rotherham Central while on test on July 19. Mike Haddon

The tram-train pilot scheme connects Sheffield and Rotherham using Supertram and Network Rail tracks. It was first mooted in 2009, with permission given by the Department for Transport in 2012. Since then it has been dogged by delays and rising costs, which currently stand at more than £75m against a 2011 estimate of £18m.

The fleet of seven Class 399 units is already in passenger use on the Supertram network, while driver training is underway on the Network Rail section.

Services are due to start towards the end of 2018.

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