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First application for £1000 of subscription shares received on Saturday 25th Feb.
A full refurbishment of the demonstrator City Class tram was completed in 2009. Preparations are being made to run this again, so that it can be inspected by prospective customers. Photos of this can be found in the Image gallery. We were approached by Interfleet, commissioned by CENTRO to evaluate the tram. We understand that their report was favourable to the City Class tram.
A new tramway project has been initiated in Preston, receiving considerable and favourable media coverage. This has been driven by Lincoln Shields, formerly a Director of AMEC. It will be a four line network serving the north, east, west and south parts of the City. Previously a report by consultants MVA recommended busways being built in the period 2018 – 2028 but without indicating the modal split to be achieved. Presently about 8% of all trips in Preston are by public transport. The four tramway lines proposed, linked to edge of City Park and Tram stations, should raise this to at least 20%.
The Trampower team has been strengthened during 2009. Neil Anderson has joined to develop new opportunities in the South of England and Wales. Cath Whelan is working with the Preston implementation team, as is Robin Wolfendale. Clive Hinchcliffe, based in Belgium is developing the business in Western Europe and beyond.
During the year, developments at the Carnforth Railway Centre required the Trampower OHL to be modified, to accommodate further rolling stock storage sidings. In co-operation with Paul Richardson, the site manager, this was achieved smoothly for the benefit of all concerned. Delta Rail approached us about our OHL for a contract funded by the Dept. for Transport (UK) to find ways to reduce the cost of electrification systems. We pointed out that as well as tramways, the Trampower OHL is suitable for secondly railway lines with running speeds up to 150km/hr.
The LR55 installation on the Sheffield Supertram will have been in situ for 14 years in March 2010. Regular inspection shows little wear and the PU bonding remains strong, indicating a maintenance free life of over 30 years. This is a further demonstration of the robustness, durability and economy of the LR55 system. Voest Alpine has indicated its willingness to roll the LR55 rail, and David Turner of Direct Track Solutions Ltd. is designing switches and crosses in the LR55 profile so that complete systems can be built.
We have received inquiries from Hamilton (Ontario), Auckland (NZ), Omaha (Nabraska), Limerick (Ireland), Derry (Ireland), Gyor (Hungary) and Stroud (England).
We were unsuccessful in bidding for the Tram Train project in Yorkshire, even though our offer was nearly £1million per car less than the only other bidder.
Trampower was invited to present evidence at the recent UK Parliamentary Inquiry into Light Rail, and how to make more affordable. Lewis Lesley appeared as a witness, and was supported by Peter Roche of Capita and Greg Rosen of Bellenden PR. The Inquiry Report is due out at the end of Feb 2010.
Tram Power is involved in a number of new tramway projects in Europe. The most advanced is in Galway (pop. 85,000) (GLUAS.com). Here a team of the local business community is promoting a new tramway, costed at â‚¬200million for a 21km long network, needing 18 trams to offer a 6minute frequency service. This proposal is the result of nearly two years of study, including the preparation of a Feasibility Report, Economic Evaluation and a Business Plan. A detailed route plan has been draw up by local architect Simon Kelly. Discussions over installation details will be undertaken by Civil Engineering Consultant Tobins based in Galway, with advice from Australian Transportation Consultants GHD. The City Council commissioned MVA to evaluate the GLUAS proposals. Their recommendations are expected shortly. (NB GLUAS means "movement" in Irish )
A second project (CROST) is based in London, and picks up the recently abandoned Cross River and Oxford Street tram lines promoted by Transport for London, for which the UK Government withdrew funding in May 2008, until at least 2018. Details about CROST can be found on london-trams.co.uk CROST has been evaluated on the same basis as the GLUAS scheme, with an initial economic evaluation to identify the likely capital and operating costs, together with an assessement of patronage and revenue, and so therefore viability. A further sensitivity analysis has determined an optimum operating ca pacity of 30 million passengers pa for the Cross River line. At this point CROST could operate without the Â£1 per journey subsidy required by buses in London. TfL predicted 96million pa by 2026 for Cross RIver.
A third project has started in Gyor (pop 130,000) in Hungary. A team from the local Technical University, working with the City Council and bus operator (Volan), is undertaking a Feasibility Study part funded by the EU. This will report later in 2009.
In the meanwhile TRAM Power is progressing its affordable technical equipment. The City Class tram has recently completed a rebuilding and is ready to finish its test running programme. Discussions are underway with a number of potential partners.
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