Sheffield/Rotherham Tram-Train update

Goldie

Member
Joined
29 Sep 2014
Messages
156
By this time, there were only a couple of other passengers apart from me on the tram. It was a bit weird watching traffic rumbling overhead on Centenary Way, knowing that the rush hour was going on all around, while it was so quiet and calm on board:



At Parkgate, there were ten or twelve passengers waiting for us on the platform as we rolled in, all dressed for work and all, I'd guess, using the retail park's car park as an unofficial park and ride. There was just time to jump on to the platform for a quick look round before we headed off back towards Rotherham.





Coffee stop at Rotherham Central, courtesy of Fitzwilliam & Hughes:







The station announcements went a bit haywire here, saying that the tram train would be departing from Platform 1 rather than Platform 3 - which it can't do of course, as Platform 1 is the full height heavy rail platform. Cue sprinting passengers running down that long, long platform to catch the tram.



And another lightly loaded ride back into Sheffield:



 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

eastwestdivide

Established Member
Joined
17 Aug 2009
Messages
1,875
Thanks for the trip report.
Interesting about the passengers apparently commuting from Parkgate. I think there might be some in the other direction too, possibly shop workers, as there were a few waiting at Parkgate platform last night around 18:50.
I've also recently spoken with someone who said his boss would probably now take the tram from Sheffield to his work near Parkgate, but not in the shopping centre, as the traffic was so bad.
 

stuartl

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2014
Messages
40
More problems today. Stagecoach twitter feed showing that xx39 from Cathedral and xx09 from Parkgate will not operate until further notice due to no tram available.
 

Harpers Tate

Established Member
Joined
10 May 2013
Messages
1,344
I suppose with 3 required for full service and one spare (with the right wheel profile) - and the one spare in bits following the RTA last week - any failure will have this effect, unless and until they re-allocate one of the other three 399s to the TramTrain route pending the RTA vehicle being fully repaired - always assuming they have spare wheels/bogies.
 

Goldie

Member
Joined
29 Sep 2014
Messages
156
I had a go on it today. Recommended, and very impressed with the turnaround at the Cathedral.
If you're lucky enough to have the tram train route open to you as a commuting option, then it is probably one of the most pleasant big city commutes in the UK right now. The coffee and cakes from Fitzwilliam & Hughes at Rotherham Central is good too!
 

SC43090

Member
Joined
7 Sep 2018
Messages
197
I understand that (not surprisingly) railway wheels are being fitted to one of the other 399s.

I understand that Tram Train 399206 is been made ready for Tram Train work.....

Tram Train 399206 as been in traffic today on the Tram Train network

SC43090
 
Last edited:

geoffk

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2010
Messages
1,492
Is the footbridge across the railway at Parkgate easy to find from the tram stop?

Another question - how much of the Supertram network can be used by the 399s with railway wheels?
 

Harpers Tate

Established Member
Joined
10 May 2013
Messages
1,344
Q1. Yes, you can see it. Although pedestrians aren't encouraged to walk directly from the one to the other - there isn't any dedicated footpath. They want you to go into the shopping area and back out through the passage next to Bensons Beds.

Q2. According to the label in the drivers cab, between Meadowhall and Shalesmoor only (plus, of course the "new" bit). That limitation may well change as more track is relaid, as I gather all future relaying of in-road sections is all to be done to the revised profile.
 

button_boxer

Established Member
Joined
12 Nov 2009
Messages
1,270
According to the label in the drivers cab, between Meadowhall and Shalesmoor only
And someone mentioned up thread that it's only as far as the crossover at the bottom of Netherthorpe Road, not necessarily the road crossing into the platform at the Shalesmoor stop - basically as far as the next possible turnback point in the event of a failure of the crossover at Cathedral.
 

geoffk

Established Member
Joined
4 Aug 2010
Messages
1,492
Q1. Yes, you can see it. Although pedestrians aren't encouraged to walk directly from the one to the other - there isn't any dedicated footpath. They want you to go into the shopping area and back out through the passage next to Bensons Beds.

Q2. According to the label in the drivers cab, between Meadowhall and Shalesmoor only (plus, of course the "new" bit). That limitation may well change as more track is relaid, as I gather all future relaying of in-road sections is all to be done to the revised profile.
I've been over there today. Surprised how busy the tram trains were at Parkgate and only a minority seemed to be tram enthusiasts. With this large shopping centre and Meadowhall so close together, I wonder how Rotherham town centre survives. A Northern strike day so probably more using the tram from Rotherham into Sheffield.

The two separate footbridges across the railway and the canal by the Parkgate junction could usefully be combined into one, but no doubt getting the canal trust and Network Rail to work together would entail too much bureaucracy.
 

_toommm_

Established Member
Joined
8 Jul 2017
Messages
3,351
Location
Headingley
I've been over there today. Surprised how busy the tram trains were at Parkgate and only a minority seemed to be tram enthusiasts. With this large shopping centre and Meadowhall so close together, I wonder how Rotherham town centre survives. A Northern strike day so probably more using the tram from Rotherham into Sheffield.

The two separate footbridges across the railway and the canal by the Parkgate junction could usefully be combined into one, but no doubt getting the canal trust and Network Rail to work together would entail too much bureaucracy.
Rotherham hasn't and doesn't survive. When I was younger it was quite a nice town with the cathedral overlooking Woolworths, marks and sparks and other big brands. It's now so run down even Primark has moved out of town. Most of Rothehram now is just pawn shops, charity shops, discount shops or vape shops
 

marcouk2

Member
Joined
24 Jan 2012
Messages
189
The tram train service is just that route but the tram trains (when fitted with the tram bogies) do run the normal tram services as well
 

SC43090

Member
Joined
7 Sep 2018
Messages
197
The tram train service is just that route but the tram trains (when fitted with the tram bogies) do run the normal tram services as well
Originally 399201 to 399204 was to operate on the tram train route

399205 to 399207 can travel on the normal tram route but not on the tram train route..... But after the incident with a lorry & tram train 399204 on the first day of tram train operation tram train number 399206 as been made available to work the tram train service in place of 399204.... That just leaves 399205 & 399207 to work the normal tram routes.....

SC43090
 

LNW-GW Joint

Veteran Member
Joined
22 Feb 2011
Messages
14,381
Location
Mold, Clwyd
399 201/2/3 working the Parkgate TT service today, with 207 on normal tram lines.
Nicely busy at Rotherham Central and Parkgate, although difficult to tell how many were just going for the novelty.
The 399s rode better on the NR track than the older Supertram lines.
The TT stop at Rotherham Central makes people walk a long way to the low-height platform extensions (which have different numbers to the normal height ones).
Busy with buggies and wheelchairs too, especially at Parkgate.
One elderly passenger fell flat on her face leaving at Central, not seeing the step between the high and low floor sections of a 399 - tricky to navigate.
There are continual warnings to "stand clear" on the TT platforms when NR trains pass through, and on the NR platforms when trams pass through.
The sharp S-bend joining the NR and Supertram sections takes time with a short stop to switch systems (and to wait for trams to pass).
The NR electrification seems to be Series 2, as in the current northwest and Scotland schemes, and nearly all TTCs (twin track cantilevers).
The tram-trains are still branded Vossloh despite now being owned by Stadler.
I wonder when tram-trains will qualify as "proper trains" and get into the main sections of this forum?
Pretty good system, though. Where next?
 

TC60054

Member
Joined
3 Mar 2016
Messages
517
Location
South Sheffield
I've separated this into sections, just to make life easier...

The TT stop at Rotherham Central makes people walk a long way to the low-height platform extensions (which have different numbers to the normal height ones).
Extending the platforms in the Sheffield direction is the only possible place to put them - where else would you suggest? (Also, there's no point adding a second entrance as rail passengers who are trying to avoid paying for a ticket will likely end up using that one to arrive and leave the station (assuming they still do ticket checks there))

The tram-trains are still branded Vossloh despite now being owned by Stadler.
Only the windows are Vossloh branded - likely to have been produced prior to the takeover.

Rather interesting to note, actually, that only one of the tram-trains - 201 - is actually a Vossloh product - the rest were finished and delivered by Stadler - yet 201 seems to be running around with retrofitted Stadler logos everywhere!
 

eastwestdivide

Established Member
Joined
17 Aug 2009
Messages
1,875
...there's no point adding a second entrance as rail passengers who are trying to avoid paying for a ticket will likely end up using that one to arrive and leave the station (assuming they still do ticket checks there)...
Not sure they do ticket checks at Rotherham any more - certainly not the last few times I've been there. There is now a prominent ticket machine at the top of the stairs. Also, a big sign beside it saying tram passengers to buy their tickets on board, so that would be one route around the ticket checkers anyway.
 

Goldie

Member
Joined
29 Sep 2014
Messages
156
Pretty good system, though. Where next?
Up the stump of the Woodhead to Stocksbridge would be my shout:
- It should take cars off the busy A616 (at Stocksbridge) and A61 (at Wadsley Bridge);
- Fox Valley shopping centre at Stocksbridge (https://www.foxvalleysheffield.co.uk/stores) has quickly established itself as a leisure destination, and it'll help generate traffic heading out of the city throughout the day;
- It'll serve Hillsborough Stadium, and relieve match day crowds on the existing Supertram route to Middlewood;
- It'll support the development of the upper Don Valley as an outdoor pursuits destination (for instance, if the redevelopment of the Sheffield Ski Village site goes ahead, it'd mean that this area is genuinely served by public transport for the first time in recent memory);
- It'll serve areas of the city centre which are undergoing or expected to undergo redevelopment; and
- It offers the prospect, at some dim and distance point in the future, of a direct link to Penistone.

And of course that route has a lot to recommend it as a tram train route. Line structures should not need rebuilding to accommodate catenary, as they were altered to accommodate the overhead line equipment associated with the electrification of the Woodhead Route. Journey times will be fast, as line speed will be high. The cost of conversion should be reasonable - which shouldn't in itself dictate the choice of the next tram train project, but given the massive overspending on this extension, probably won't do any harm.
 

Harpers Tate

Established Member
Joined
10 May 2013
Messages
1,344
The mall car park has standard T&C about only for use while on site, etc. There are, however, 32 (I think) spaces dedicated to Park & Ride where those restrictions don't apply. Look for the separated and signed area way down the far end from the main entrance, just past Matalan. If you get in one of those you are good to go. I can't comment on how quickly they fill up.
 

Bungle965

Established Member
Associate Staff
Buses & Coaches
Joined
2 Jul 2014
Messages
2,610
Location
Blackley and Broughton/ Walsall South
Had a trip down the other day, leaving at around 5pm the tram was fairly busy, there was not many empty seats and there was a considerable people who made the full or almost the full journey to Parkgate.
I have heard similar reports of this, so hopefully this will turn into a success with a good amount of passengers using this service.
Sam
 

gtis

Member
Joined
15 Apr 2009
Messages
253
Location
darfield sth yorkshire
Hi
Tried the train tram this morning
Got there around 8-30 got the last
Space in the TT car park about 10 people got on at Parkgate and then more at
Rotherham and then a steady flow of people getting on and off towards Sheffield
I did notice when coming back to Parkgate in the afternoon there are some high backed seats at the drivers cab end are they first class
Neil
 

eastwestdivide

Established Member
Joined
17 Aug 2009
Messages
1,875
There's no first class on the tram-trains, but you do get a first class view out of the front if you're in the seats behind the driver. The dip in the track where it was lowered under Greasbrough Road bridge is very visible, although you don't really feel it.
 

gtis

Member
Joined
15 Apr 2009
Messages
253
Location
darfield sth yorkshire
Thanks I didn’t think there was first class
I really enjoyed the ride into Sheffield
I was surprised how fast it was on network system
And cost me nothing with my bus pass
I did notice coming back that some passengers were using the retail car park
To park there cars
Neil
 

Top