Presenter: Christopher Hopkinson
For the final meeting of the 2018/19 session, 20 members and guests assembled for a presentation from Christopher Hopkinson the SYPTE Tram Concession Manager on the Sheffield Tram system.
Christopher started by outlining the main characteristics of the system, the infrastructure and vehicles used. As the system has been operational since 1994, a rail replacement programme is in progress. A recent survey on the use and future of the system showed the majority in favour of continuance.
As most members of the audience were familiar with the original system, the presentation largely concentrated on the recent introduction of the tram/train extension through Rotherham Central to the Parkgate shopping centre. This extension came in late and well over budget. Linking a tram system with the National Rail network meant that many legislature and technical difficulties had to be overcome to satisfy all requirements. Determining the boundaries for OHL and track maintenance and signalling responsibility together with driver training were just a few of the problems faced. However the tram/train is now up and running and has been well received.
There were many questions posed by the audience which Christopher expertly handled, but not all the comments made were complimentary. Our many thanks to Christopher for the expert presentation and handling all the questions posed.