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Stagecoach tram-train crashes into lorry upon launch of new service

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A tram-train derailed when it collided with a lorry just hours after the launch of the much heralded new service.

Four passengers suffered minor injuries in the crash in Sheffield shortly before 3:20pm on Thursday.

The Stagecoach Supertram pushed the flatbed lorry sideways for around 30 feet, at the point where Staniforth Road crosses the tram tracks near to Woodbourn Road tram stop.

The crash, which took place roughly half a mile from the city centre, happened on the launch day of the UK’s first tram-train service which runs between Sheffield and Rotherham.

Emergency services at the scene in Staniforth Road Sheffield where a tram collided with a lorry on the Sheffield Supertram system. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 25, 2018. The collision on Thursday afternoon happened just hours after the official opening of UK's first tram-train service was launched between Sheffield and Rotherham - a service that utilises both the Supertram system and main rail lines. See PA story RAIL Tram. Photo credit should read: Dave Higgins/PA Wir
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Four passengers suffered minor injuries

It utilises both the Supertram system and main rail lines.

It is understood the tram signal was on green at the time of the collision.

The traffic lights around the junction were not working after the crash, with signs warning motorists of the situation, but it is not clear whether the lights were working before the collision.

Rhyse Morgan, 27, spotted the tram on his way to work and thought it had derailed.

He said: “We noticed it was the new train-tram but then saw it was more serious with the amount of emergency services.”

The collision happened roughly half a mile from Sheffield city centre
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The crash happened roughly half a mile from Sheffield city centre

A Stagecoach Supertram spokeswoman said on Thursday: “We can confirm that a collision took place this afternoon between a lorry and one of our vehicles shortly before 3:20pm on Staniforth Road.

“No one has been seriously injured, however a small number of people were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

“We are assisting police with their inquiries into the circumstances.

“Tram services in the area are currently suspended and the latest updates for customers are available via our website and Twitter feed.”

The passenger service pushed the flatbed lorry roughly 30 feet sideways
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The passenger service pushed the flatbed lorry roughly 30 feet sideways

The £75m tram-train system is a delayed project designed to link Rotherham into Sheffield’s Supertram system, which has been operating for more than 20 years.

It was finally launched on Thursday morning with a ceremony which included rail minister Jo Johnson and Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis.

Emergency services at the scene in Staniforth Road Sheffield where a tram collided with a lorry on the Sheffield Supertram system. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 25, 2018. The collision on Thursday afternoon happened just hours after the official opening of UK's first tram-train service was launched
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It is understood the tram signal was on green at the time of the collision

Mr Johnson said at the event: “The first tram-train journey is a milestone moment that will give commuters cleaner, more frequent and more reliable journeys across Sheffield and Rotherham.

“This pioneering project brings together innovation, state-of-the-art technology and our existing infrastructure to give passengers better journeys.

“It lays the groundwork for ambitious transport schemes right across the country that should give commuters more choice.”

Emergency services at the scene in Staniforth Road Sheffield where a tram collided with a lorry on the Sheffield Supertram system. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 25, 2018. The collision on Thursday afternoon happened just hours after the official opening of UK's first tram-train service was launched between Sheffield and Rotherham - a service that utilises both the Supertram system and main rail lines. See PA story RAIL Tram. Photo credit should read: Dave Higgins/PA Wir
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Emergency services descended on the scene after the collision

The Commons Public Accounts Committee criticised the project because of its delays, describing the scheme as an example of “how not to” manage a rail project in December 2017.

It was delayed by almost three years, with services due to begin running in December 2015.

It is intended to be a trial to test the concept for possible wider roll-out.

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