This modern service is designed to run on both the tram tracks and rail network, and will provide three tram-train journeys between Sheffield and Rotherham each hour.
Initially as a pilot-project, the tram-train will run for a two-year trial period and, depending on its success, may continue to run after this time.
The trial period will test the costs and operational issues of the tram-train technology, with a view to it being rolled out elsewhere.
The government-funded project was approved in 2012 and was supposed to begin its service two years ago, but it faced criticism after costs rocketed from £15m to £75m… Crikey.
Of course, with the additional issues of delays as well as the increasing costs, the scheme’s value for taxpayers was heavily questioned last year.
The Tram-trains will travel along the Supertram routes from the Sheffield Cathedral to Meadowhall South, before connecting over a new section of track called Tinsley Chord, which links the tram line to the train track.
It will then go along the national rail network to Parkgate Retail Centre via Rotherham Central station.
Rob McIntosh from Network Rail is confident that a large amount of people will use this new service – enough to stimulate the economy.
“I foresee this network not just carrying on but also growing and seeing if we can explore further opportunities in South Yorkshire,” he said.
This certainly seems like an exciting development for our city, so hopefully we’ll see the tram-train succeed!