UK: The University of Warwick’s Warwick Manufacturing Group has published the design of the very light rail vehicle that it is developing with Transport Design International.
TDI is working with automotive company RDM to build a prototype vehicle by mid-2020 for testing at the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre in Dudley. The lightweight battery-powered vehicle would have capacity for 50 passengers, and in the longer term would be fully automatic.
The Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership has contributed £2·5m towards the first phase of R&D, and a further £12·2m is coming from the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Subject to successful tests and obtaining a Transport & Works Act order, it is hoped that construction of a permanent very light rail line on a route in Coventry could begin in 2024. This would include a new type of track, which is being studied.