Very Light Rail Opportunities

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Thursday, 21 November, 2019 - 08:00 to 09:15

Very Light Rail Opportunities


Coventry City Council


Coventry City Council
Dame Ellen Terry Suite, Council House, Coventry CV1 5RR
United Kingdom

Very Light Rail (VLR) is a new rail sector focused on vehicles which are both lightweight and self-propelled (battery powered). They are an environmentally friendly, low cost form of public transport.   Coventry City Council will use VLR to solve its public transport needs and to ease congestion on the city’s roads.  There is an opportunity for local businesses to work with the scheme promoters in the development of new VLR technologies which will also result in an innovation ‘boost’ for SMEs in the region.

This event is aimed at small to medium sized business based in the Coventry and Warwickshire region and businesses will be able to find out how they can contribute to the scheme, over the next few years.

Attendees will gain a chance to register interest for involvement with the scheme going forward. Understand how the scheme adds to the growth of the local economy and current investment in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Coventry City Council (CCC) is working with a range of partners  help to establish Coventry as a world-class business investment location by supporting urban public transport connectivity, developing significant supply chain opportunities and providing a focus for driving up skill levels. At the heart of this is our work to create a new transport system for small to medium sized towns and cities.  Very Light Rail (VLR) will deliver a very light weight mass transport rail solution comprising a modern battery operated vehicle and innovative track system that is relatively simple and cost effective to construct. The integrated system will be tested at the Dudley Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre and once proof of concept is achieved, the first route is planned to be installed in Coventry, as part of a integrated public transport solution.

There are a range of opportunities for local businesses to work with the scheme promoters in the development of new VLR technologies which will also result in an innovation ‘boost’ for SMEs in the region.

This event is aimed at small to medium sized businesses based in the Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider West Midlands region. Attendees will learn about the scheme and have the opportunity to register interest for involvement in the project. 

We’re looking for companies that can help us deliver the following benefits, through the delivery of lower cost technologies and infrastructure;

  • High value training, apprenticeship and job opportunities  – associated with design, construction and information technology
  • Provide a high-quality public transport alternative to the car at a substantially lower cost  than a traditional tram (e.g. Midland Metro).
  • New technologies – including the potential for technologies related to autonomous operation, development of complementary “last mile” solutions and smart ticketing solutions.
  • An affordable and flexible system, including but not limited to infrastructure such as VLR stops and platforms and vehicle and track maintenance equipment.


  • Cllr Jim O'Boyle - Coventry City Council 
  • Colin Knight, Director Transport & Highways - Coventry City Council 
  • Nick Mallinson - WMG

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