More than 75 years since its closure, a Coventry tramline is becoming a reality once again. A tramway, similar to the one reintroduced to Nottingham in 2004, may be transporting passengers around Coventry in the near future. The new Coventry tramline plan is being developed by Warwick Manufacturing Group, funded by the Government’s Midlands Growth Fund.
A Little History
Coventry tramline has an interesting history. It begins in 1884 when Coventry and District Tramways Company launched the tramway service between Coventry and Bedworth. A number of steam trams were running from one station to another for 9 years. Then the service ceased for 2 years.
In 1895, the Coventry Electric Tramways Company Ltd launched an electric tramline. Electric trams were more popular than their steam counterparts due to fewer breakdowns. Many more tram stations appeared over the next 45 years. Unfortunately, in 1940, the Coventry tramline ceased to exist after heavy bombing during Coventry Blitz.
The New Era
The new tramline research and development project will cost about £6 million. The state-of-the-art battery-operated rail vehicles will run on a low-cost track without a driver.
The modern trams used in the UK are quite costly. Their average price is about £3 million per tram. Warwick Manufacturing Group is planning to create a supply chain to manufacture new driverless vehicles and tracks at a reasonable cost. The first one is expected to be ready in spring 2019.
The new driverless trams will connect different parts of Coventry to each other, making it more convenient to use public transportation rather than cars. However, convenience is not the only goal of this project. The tramline will reduce congestion in the city while also improving the environment.
The new light tram system is expected to be cheaper to build and run than any of the similar systems around the UK. The absence of drivers doesn’t just make the tram system cost-effective, it allows it to be more frequent, becoming a hop-on/hop-off type of service.
Coventry is the 9th largest city in England. It’s also the 22nd most congested city in the UK. The appearance of the new tramline can substantially improve traffic flow around the city and university. The experiment is expected to show the practicability of driverless tramlines for the rest of the large UK cities.
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