A new report from the Urban Transport Group (UTG) says that protecting light rail services and maintaining the urban connectivity they provide is key to ensuring towns and cities recover from the impact of Covid-19.
The report, entitled Leading light: What light rail can do for city regions, looks at how light rail contributes to the economic, social and environmental objectives of both national and regional governments.
Produced on behalf of UTG by produced by Steer Group, it states that the UK’s light rail systems are crucial in supporting economic growth and a greener recovery.
The report provides examples of economic, social and environmental benefits derived from light rail, such as the 290 million GBP (343.09m euros | 398.12 USD) the Tyne and Wear Metro contributed to the North East’s economy and the 2,000 tonnes of CO2 the Sheffield Supertram is estimated to save the city each year.
It also highlights that there are opportunities to extend current networks and introduce new ones, but in order to achieve this, a stable policy and funding environment is needed.
Stressing the key role light rail networks played in keeping cities moving during the pandemic, the report points out concerns around how long it will take these networks to recover from the pandemic, particularly since the UK government’s financial support is scheduled to end next April.
“Light rail systems play a bigger role in the life of British urban areas now than they have for well over fifty years.
“This report sets out in detail, and with numerous case studies, why and how light rail has been such a success story for the places it serves.
“It also supports our wider case to the Comprehensive Spending Review for both continued funding support for our light rail networks, whilst patronage is constrained due to COVID, and, in the longer term, for a more stable and consistent approach to extending the benefits of light rail to more places and passengers.”
The Welsh Government is taking the Wales & Borders franchise under public control starting in February 2021 as a result of COVID-19.
HS2 Ltd has unveiled the design of two viaducts in Northamptonshire as a four-week consultation period for local residents gets underway.
The UK Department for Transport and Arriva CrossCountry have signed a three-year agreement to align the franchise with the ERMAs.
The HS2 rail project has generated more than 400 apprenticeships to date, with a goal of creating 2,000 over the course of the project.
HS2 Ltd has signed a contract with contractor Skanka Costain STRAVAG JV for the first 2 tunnel boring machines to start on the HS2 project.
HS2 Ltd has launched a public consultation on proposed changes the Phase 2b of the high-speed rail project, including additional platforms.
Crossrail Ltd has handed over the governance of the Crossrail project (Elizabeth Line) to Transport for London (TfL) prior to trial running.
A hydrogen train has run on Britain's mainline rail network for the first time. The HydroFLEX has been developed by Porterbrook and BCRRE.
The UK government is abolishing rail franchising in the wake of coronavirus and has set up Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs).
Coronavirus has changed the way TOCs operate in Britain. Gareth Dennis believes this is and should be the nail in the coffin for franchising.
Network Rail has published the Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy, outlining how to remove diesel-only trains from the network.
West Midlands Trains has revealed a first look at the new fleet of electric trains that will enter passenger service under WMR in 2021.
HS2 Ltd has today (4 Sep 2020) announced the formal start of construction on the high-speed railway line, a major milestone for the project.
Solihull Council has awarded planning permission for the HS2 Interchange Station, the surrounding landscaping and the automated people mover.
HS2 Ltd has revealed the design for the vent shaft headhouse at Amersham, one of five such structures along the Chiltern tunnel.
The central section of Crossrail – the Elizabeth line – will now not open until 2022, Crossrail Ltd has said in its most recent update.
HS2 Ltd has signed an agreement with UKRRIN to accelerate the development of innovative rail technologies and their time to market.
HS2 Ltd has launched part two of its Innovation Accelerator following a large number of applications in part one.
The Rail Delivery Group has submitted proposals to influence the government's Transport Decarbonisation Plan and make taxation fairer.
HS2 Ltd has revealed the first images and names of the two TBMs that will create the tunnel through the Chilterns: Florence and Cecilia.
HS2 Ltd has begun its search for the contractor to deliver the high-voltage power supply systems, traction and non-traction, for the line.
Rail Live 2020, which was due to take place at Long Marston, UK, on 9 and 10 September has been cancelled. New dates: 16 and 17 June 2021.
The University of Birmingham is the preferred bidder to incorporate the National College of Advanced Transport & Infrastructure (NCATI).
Network Rail is investing £3.4m in upgrading the overhead line equipment on the West Coast Main Line as part of the Great North Rail Project.
HS2's Old Oak Common site has been handed over to contractors Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA, who won the contract to build the station in 2019.
Siemens Mobility has contracted Knorr-Bremse to supply the door systems for the Inspiro trains for London Underground's Piccadilly line.
HS2: the Chiltern Tunnel south portal site has now been fully levelled and the 17m headwall is now complete in preparation for the TBMs.
The central Crossrail section will not open next summer now as previously promised because of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
HS2 has revealed its final design for the first of four vent shaft headhouses for the Chiltern tunnel. This one is at Chalfont St Peter.
Alstom and Eversholt Rail are investing a further 1 million GBP into the hydrogen train Breeze in order to accelerate the UK hydrogen sector.
HS2 joint venture Mace Dragados has taken possession of the Euston Station construction site, preparing for the start of construction.
MECX Medical Drug & Alcohol Testing Programs are straightforward, simple and backed by a rapid results turnaround service.
Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has established Talgo UK with Jon Veitch as its new MD. It aims to build an 'all Britain' supply chain.
Network Rail and Arup have published a report entitled Tomorrow's Living Station to investigate how Britain's stations might evolve.
The first Stadler train for Merseyrail has been transported to Germany where it will undergo dynamic testing before entering service in 2020.
Matt Byrne is the new president for the UK region of Bombardier Transportation and the Chair of Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd.
UK rail franchise operator GTR has completed a 5-year transformation programme that has seen the introduction of 1,500 new carriages.
The NCHSR rebrands to reflect its broader remit. It will now be known as the National College for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure.
The Mayor of Manchester has published his vision for rail for the city, to double passenger numbers to 200,000 by 2040 and other goals.
The Rail Delivery Group has published proposals for rail fare reforms following the largest-ever passenger survey in the country.
Following a successful six-month trial ScotRail is now rolling out the use of GSM-R to give passengers more detailed real-time information.
The Northern refurbishment works are now two thirds complete. As part of its franchise agreement Northern is refurbishing 243 trains.
Eurotunnel is one of the eight freight carriers chosen by the UK government to be a preferred carrier of vital goods following Brexit.
The British rail regulator, the ORR, has implemented a new measure to record train punctuality: the 'On Time' punctuality measure.
Transport for Wales has published its Station Improvement Vision stating that it will invest £194 in modernising all 247 stations in Wales.
Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA joint venture wins construction management contract for HS2's Old Oak Common station worth 1 billion GBP.
ScotRail amongst other organisations are engaging passengers in conversations about mental health issues on trains and in stations.
A giant animatronic red hare and a steel band were the star attractions as Greater Anglia launched their brand-new Stadler trains.
Northern continues its fleet roll-out with the introduction of new trains for Blackpool starting 9 September, running services to Liverpool.
The UK government has launched the Oakervee Review into HS2 to determine whether and how the high-speed line should proceed.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 33: all the latest rail news, including rolling stock and signalling contracts and station technology.
Northern has introduced an additional 15 CAF Civity diesel trains on its network as part of its programme to replace its Pacer train fleet.
HS2 has received approval on their plans for Euston's 'sugar cube'. The structure will house a substation, electrical equipment and more.
First-Trenitalia are awarded the West Coast Partnership. The operator will take over services on the West Coast Main Line in December 2019.
Given the DfT's policy that all trains must meet accessibilty requirements by 1 January 2020, Northern Pacer trains are being retired.
HS2 will trial augmented reality training for its staff for Old Oak Common, which will serve both HS2 and the Elizabeth Line once built.
Abellio UK, franchisee of East Midlands Railway (EMR), invests £400 million in new Hitachi trains for East Midlands Railway.
New Accessible Travel Policy Guidance sets out commitments for operators to help older and disabled people to travel by rail.
One of the new Greater Anglia intercity electric multiple units manufactured by Stadler has successfully completed a daylight test run.
UK: Rail Minister Andrew Jones has reaffirmed the government's commitment to zero-emission technology for greener rail journeys.
Network Rail’s Eastern Region managing director has appointed several Route Directors who will make up a new senior management team.
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The Railway-News Industry Insider week 29: Stadler celebrate the roll-out of the new KISS train and supply 80 TRAMLINK trams to Milan.
Investments are paying off says UK rail infrastructure manager Network Rail, with new seats and services benefitting millions of passengers.
Transport for Wales is hiring: it is creating 60 new jobs as part of its 5 billion GBP investment that focuses on the South Wales Metro.
Rail sector diversity: 3-year report on diversity in transport by the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce finds strong progress.
Network Rail will invest 70 million GBP in a new task force to improve track worker safety, following two fatalities earlier this month.
UK: The Department for Transport has announced it will make 150 million GBP available for vital upgrades to Gatwick Airport station.
The first Bombardier Aventra train for Greater Anglia has started testing, for performance and safety, and will enter service later this year.
Vivarail's Class 320 battery train and fast charging system have won the 2019 Rail Industry Innovation Award in the Environment category.
For International Women in Engineering Day 2019, we look at the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) talk given by Mark Lomas from HS2.
The ORR has issued its approval for the new 24 4-car Stadler bi-mode multiple units, which will enter service for Greater Anglia this summer.
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The Railway-News Industry Insider week 22: Alstom delivers the first MP16 metro train and begins production of locomotives in Kazakhstan.
Network Rail has run a worksite in South Wales that was 97 percent diesel-free, demonstrating the viability of solar technologies.
The Railway-News Industry Insider week 21: Alstom wins a contract for 27 fuel cell trains and installs its incremental train control system.
The House of Lords EU Committee has published its report "Brexit: road, rail and maritime transport". What are the key findings for rail?
British Steel, a major supplier to the rail industry, has gone into liquidation following Brexit-related financial trouble.
To become more passenger-oriented, Network Rail is devolving responsibilities and has created new regional managing directors.
Network Rail has announced the winners of contracts worth £800 million. The companies will provide rail haulage and seasonal services in CP6.
Creating more diversity and equality in rail is vital in order to meet the skills shortage and bring about more resilient businesses.
Railtex Day 3 highlights: a talk on hydrogen power in rail to move away from diesel, as well as a talk about Labour's plans for rail.
Alstom is presenting its to-scale model of its Breeze hydrogen train at Railtex. Mike Muldoon will also give a talk on the technology.
Railtex has been running since 1993, and since the very beginning RIA has been involved as an important partner.
Railtex Day 2: find out about all the events in the Seminar Theatre, the Knowledge Hub and the Future Focus Conference at a glance.
Railtex Day 1 kicks off today with the opening ceremony at 10:30am, though doors open to the NEC, Birmingham at 10am. See 400+ exhibitors.
Vivarail has announced a long-term partnership with Arcola Energy to develop a hydrogen train for the UK following the success of its D-Train.
Network Rail has awarded the final contracts for upgrades and construction works at Crossrail stations. The works should be complete by 2020.
The CCC has published its Net Zero report, outlining how the UK can help stop climate change by 2050. We look at the tranport aspect.
We have just published our Railtex magazine 2019. One of the biggest rail shows in the UK, Railtex will take place in Birmingham 14–16 May.
The National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR) has proposed changing its name to reflect the wider remit of its training activities.
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Following criticism because of lengthy delays, Crossrail Ltd has published its plans to get back on track with the Elizabeth line in London.
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Plans for the Siemens rail manufacturing facility in Goole are progressing well with the outline planning application now submitted.
The Siemens Bogie Service Centre in the UK has reached a milestone: it has overhauled its 100th Eurostar bogie within 4 months of opening.
The Rail Minister Andrew Jones MP has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for Railtex, the international exhibition of railway equipment...
In the Industry Insider Week 13: Deutsche Bahn considers sale options for DB Arriva and Stadler wins its biggest vehicle order to date.
Deutsche Bahn is looking at options for a DB Arriva sale. The UK-based passenger transport company was fully acquired by DB in 2010.
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