Home Company News Government funding for West Midlands Very Light Rail schemes

Government funding for West Midlands Very Light Rail schemes

TramForward, the campaign arm of the Light Rail Transit Association, has welcomed the news that the West Midlands Combined Authority has obtained government funding for two Very Light Rail projects.

These two are included in the eight ‘shovel ready’ projects in the West Midlands which will benefit from £66 million from the government’s Getting Building Fund, aimed at projects which can be started quickly and completed within 18 months, creating jobs and driving investment to aid economic recovery following the Coronavirus lockdown.

The list was confirmed on Tuesday 4 August by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, during a visit to the site of the planned National Brownfield Land Institute at the University of Wolverhampton.

The two VLR schemes are: the Very Light Rail Innovation Centre in Dudley (£12.4 million), where new modes of transport which are both green and cheaper and quicker to deliver than traditional tram or rail are being developed; and Coventry’s Very Light Rail project (£1.8 million).

Jim Harkins, chair of the Light Rail Transit Association’s Campaigns Group, said: “We welcome this support for these innovative schemes which have the potential to revolutionise public transport provision in our smaller and medium-sized towns and cities.”

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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