Galliford Try-built tracks host first successful test of new Coventry Very Light Rail vehicle

Topic Projects

Date 20 Nov 2023

The battery-powered vehicle and revolutionary track system will offer cities across the UK the chance to install the light rail systems faster and at a much lower cost than traditional systems of the same kind.  

The test track includes a 250m vertical curve, as well a tight bend, both of which are typically significant challenges for traditional tram vehicles. It was installed by the business in just a few weeks at a test site in nearby Dudley, and was laid just 300mm deep into the road surface, reducing the need to divert all pipes and cables, which can add significant cost and time delays to light rail projects.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council’s cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change, said: “It was fantastic to see the vehicle running on its track for the very first time. This track is crucial to our vision and this successful test is a big milestone for the project.

“The track is unique; it’s specifically designed to be installed more quickly and more easily than the tracks used by other light rail systems.

“Coventry Very Light Rail is pioneering – with the potential to create new jobs and tackle climate change by providing people with a zero-emission mode of travel.”

Jamie Missenden, Regional Manager for Galliford Try Infrastructure, added: “Having experience of light rail construction previously, the opportunity to play a part in creating an innovative system like this provided us with the chance to see how these complex infrastructure systems could be installed with significant risk reduction and cost savings.

“With the test track now completed, we are proud of the work we have completed with partners and have been impressed by the speed of the installation of the track. In our view, this system offers significant benefits and added value to that of the more traditional light rail installation and construction process.”