Britain still lagging in the use of city trams | Letters
Leslie Freitag praises the running of trams on train tracks pioneered in Germany
The snail’s pace evaluation of the possibility of running trams over train tracks in the UK is inexplicable (Tram-train link three years late and five times over budget, 4 July). The innovation began in 1992 in the German city of Karlsruhe, where train routes had trams built to run along them. They then divert off the train line to go through the shopping and commercial centre. Each time I visit more routes have been added to the system. The success can be gauged by the main pollution-free shopping street needing extra tracks to serve all the trams. These will be in a subway, due to be opened later this year.
Equally important is the use of trams to take cargo. Special vehicles can pick up refuse, for example. In Dresden parts are delivered between factories. In June, St Etienne in France saw an experimental pallet delivery service for retailers, TramFret, using converted older trams. It needs only to be an empty trailer hitched to a tram. If we had such a trial here passing the Department for Transport offices, the trailer vehicle would probably not be able to carry in one load the paperwork generated by them and Network Rail in considering such simple and proven technology.
Source: Guardian Transport