Ramboll brings metro, light rail and tram-train to the UK. Image: Daniel Shearing
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has commissioned a study to generate options after the LEP’s Transport Investment Plan estimated that road congestion costs the Hampshire economy £0.4 billion per year. The plan also highlighted the need for an integrated transport network to promote growth in the region.
Phase one of the Solent Metro network could see ‘Tram-trains’ run from Eastleigh south to a new station in Southampton’s St Mary’s district, on to a waterfront interchange at Royal Pier, then back up to the Westquay shopping area and Southampton Central railway station. Following Phase One, the new metro system network allows for connecting the towns of Fareham and Botley to Southampton, and then onto Romsey and Eastleigh, providing new connections to Southampton Airport.
The ‘Tram-train’ concept was pioneered in Karlsruhe (Germany) and is used elsewhere in Europe with metro vehicles that can run on street and use the local heavy rail network. The vehicles can work at slower speeds for on-street urban sections in towns or city centres and then up to 60/70 mph on stretches of railway for a rapid transfer between population centres.
Steer Davis Gleeve (SDG) is leading the study and Ramboll is providing civil engineering, operational advice and environmental appraisal to the business case preparation. Ramboll and SDG collaborated on the first phase of the project and will now continue to develop these ideas.
Ramboll’s Southampton office, formerly known as Gifford (established in 1951 and acquired by Ramboll in 2011) has carried out numerous projects in the surrounding area including, buildings, roads, marine infrastructure and environmental services.
Steven Brown, UK Market Director Rail at Ramboll, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring Ramboll’s expertise in metro, light rail and tram-train to the UK. We are a local consultant (300 staff) that really understands the key local issues allowing us to combine global expertise with a strong local presence.”