TramForward welcomes low-cost track project
TramForward welcomes the announcement that the Coventry Very Light Rail project has received funding of £1.5m from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to develop a low-cost light rail track system with researchers from WMG, University of Warwick and Coventry City Council working with Ingerop Conseil & Ingénierie of France and its English subsidiary Rendel Ltd.
The ultimate goal of the track project is to design an affordable trackform that can be easily removed to allow access for the maintenance of utilities. Digging up roads to relocate gas, electric, telecommunication and sewage systems prior to track laying is currently one of the major expenses in constructing traditional tram systems.
The track project is the next step in developing a complete low-cost light rail system. WMG has already developed a lightweight battery-powered light rail vehicle, testing of which is expected to start within the next 12 months.
The long term objective is to develop system which will be much more affordable for medium-sized towns and cities than conventional light rail systems.
Paul Rowen, Chairman of the Light Rail Transit Association, said “we have been discussing for a long time how to make light rail more affordable and it is good to see positive progress towards this”.