British “supertrams” transform public transportNovember 27, 2019
A year has passed since the first tram was launched in Britain, which can ride on rails for railway trains. Now in Glasgow, Manchester and a number of regions of Wales, they are also going to introduce this combined mode of transport.
Trams are an ideal form of public transport for central urban areas: their paths are not clogged with other cars, like buses, they have more stops than metro stations, and there is no air pollution. But they won’t be able to get to neighboring cities: they will have to change trains.
The combination of tram and train can become a solution to the problem – a new type of transport that moves along tram rails and standard railways, despite different infrastructure and traffic rules, writes Wired.UK.
“If your city already has a good tram network and a relatively unloaded railway network around the city, you can connect the suburbs to the center without creating too cumbersome infrastructure,” said Taku Fujiyama from University College London.
In other countries, the idea has already taken root: in 1992, Germany opened the first line between Karlsruhe and Bretten. The experiment turned out to be successful – later trams were also opened on other railways in the Karlsruhe area. In Britain, the first tram-train line was launched in 2018.
Now, after the completion of the first half of the two-year trials, it became clear that the new mode of transport was popular. Previously, the inhabitants of Rotherham had to change trains from the train to the tram if they wanted to get to the center of Sheffield. Now getting easier and faster. Engineers only had to attach a lower platform to the usual platform of commuter trains so that passengers could enter the tram.
There are seven Stadler Citylink Class 399 trams that run up to 100 km / h (although they have no right to accelerate so much on this route).
They are two-way and equipped with a dual security, communication and control system to move along tram tracks and railway rails.
The spread of this type of transport will not happen overnight – it is still necessary to solve a number of engineering and administrative problems. But the process has already begun. Wales has signed a contract to launch a similar project, while Manchester and Glasgow are exploring the possibility of expanding their network with tram trains.
Hydrogen rail transport is also developing in Britain. Vivirail engineers assembled a modular hydrogen train consisting of fuel cells, tanks and two lithium-ion batteries. You can ride it at the end of this year.
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