19th Jun, 2021

Coventry's new Very Light Rail prototype taken on tour of city centre and Transport Museum

COVENTRY’S Very Light Rail vehicle was taken on a tour of the city centre ahead of its real on-track testing.

Over the past two years, researchers from WMG, University of Warwick and TDi have been designing the vehicle for Coventry City Council.

It will provide an electric powered, zero-emissions, lightweight, rail-based public transport system for Coventry.

The vehicle is being moved from NP Aerospace in the city for some static software testing before a dedicated track test at BCIMO in Dudley.

The prototype vehicle was this week taken on a tour of Coventry – its future operational home.

After leaving the vehicle production site in Coventry it stopped outside the Co-op building and the Transport Museum so the public could get a better view of what to expect.

Coun Jim O’Boyle cabinet member for jobs and regeneration and Coventry and Warwickshire LEP board director, said: “I am really pleased to see the first prototype vehicle out of the factory and on to our city’s streets.

“Even on a low loader it looks impressive – modern, sleek and of course the fact its battery powered means it’s good for the environment and air quality too.”

He thanked all the researchers, innovators, engineers and manufacturers for getting the project to this point.

“Coventry was the beating heart of the carbon revolution and now with projects like this, UKBIC, our electric bus fleet and our plans for a Gigafactory we will lead the zero-carbon revolution too.”

Picture by Mark Radford Photography. s

Dr Darren Hughes, from WMG, University of Warwick, added it was very exciting to get to the testing phase and to see the vehicle in the city it would one day call home.

“The vehicle has been constructed within Coventry with a reliance on a regional supply chain where possible, showing the strength in depth of local manufacturing.

“It is a unique vehicle with state-of-the-art technologies including an advanced battery power-train and resilient glazing making it even safer for public use.”

The project has been made possible thanks to funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and the West Midlands Combined Authority Devolution Deal.

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