UK: Five tram-trains are to be procured for trials in northern England, the Department for Transport confirmed on March 18. The two-year test starting in 2010 will 'establish whether tram-trains similar to those operating successfully in Europe are suitable for Britain's railway network.'

Tram-trains will replace DMUs on the 60 km unelectrified route between Huddersfield, Barnsley and Sheffield during the trial, which is to be undertaken as a partnership between DfT, which is contributing £9m, Network Rail and train operator Northern Rail.

An option for a second phase covers testing on Sheffield's Supertram network to see the benefits of extending services onto city-centre tram lines.

Northern Rail will call tenders for and lease the vehicles, and its parent company Serco-NedRailways will bring experience of tram-train operation in the Netherlands.

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