The Coventry Very Light Rail project has received funding from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), which was secured by Coventry City Council (CCC).

The £1.5m funding will support the project, which aims to modernise affordable public transport.

Until now, the Engineers from WMG, University of Warwick partnered with TDI to design light rail vehicle which is battery powered for the CCC.

The project aims to transform into an autonomous vehicle that can accommodate 50 passengers and will operate similarly to the London Underground system.

The vehicle design will use a multi-material approach and will be lightweight. However, the design will be expensive as the battery-powered design will not have an overhead power supply.

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With the funding, researchers can begin the next phase of the VLR project to develop a trackform for light rail with reduced cost.

The engineers at WMG will partner with Coventry City Council and Ingerop Conseil et Ingénierie, a French civil engineering company.

The project aims to design an affordable trackform that can be removed easily and will decrease impact on utilities.

WMG, University of Warwick associate professor Darren Hughes said: “The Coventry light-rail project brings together advanced technologies from a number of sectors to deliver a low-cost environmentally-sustainable public transport solution.

“Now that the vehicles have been designed it is time to look at the track they will run on, and with the help of Ingérop Conseil et Ingénierie, we will make it as affordable and environmentally friendly as possible.”