May 2020

Project Win – Coventry Very Light Rail (VLR)

Image credit: TDI (Transport Design International)

Ingerop and Rendel have been appointed as 'innovative partner' to design a low-cost track form on the revolutionary Coventry VLR project. WMG of University of Warwick are working with Coventry City Council (CCC) to develop a technologically ground breaking concept for an autonomous, battery-powered, environmentally-friendly vehicle to provide public transport within in Coventry city centre.

WMG is an academic department at University of Warwick which leads collaboration between public and private sectors in science, technology and engineering innovation. Engineers from WMG have developed the light rail vehicle which was unveiled in March 2019.

Ingerop and Rendel, described by Councillor Jim O’Boyle as ‘experts in this field’ have been appointed for the next stage of the venture - to develop a suitable affordable track system which would reduce impact on utilities and roads. Whereas traditional tram systems have required the digging up of roads, moving of utilities as well as unsightly tracks and overhead power cables, the goal for this revolutionary system is to be low cost and laid more quickly, requiring less disruption to the city centre.

Philippe-André Hanna, Director for International Transport in Ingerop said:

“We are delighted to join the team for the Coventry Very Light Rail. This project is absolutely essential for small and medium cities who want to have a modern, carbon-free, rail-based system and cannot afford it today. After the R&D phase, our real goal as on all our projects around the World is to put in place the most sustainable urban transport system for Coventry and many more cities in Europe."

Tim Hackett, Infrastructure Director at Rendel Ltd said:

“We are really excited to be part of this project with our colleagues from Ingerop having already worked together successfully on some high-profile and complex rail projects. We look forward to collaborating on this innovative and technologically game-changing project, providing support from our new West Midlands office.”

The innovation of the vehicle and tracks is funded by a £1.5m contribution from the West Midlands Combined Authority, secured by CCC.

You can read the full press release sent out by University of Warwick here: