Very Light Rail gears up for annual conference

The Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre

The UK’s second Very Light Rail (VLR) conference takes place on 16 June at the Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology in Dudley.

The site is near the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC), which has been established to boost development in the sector.

Attendees will hear from the teams involved in Coventry’s VLR plans and the Revolution VLR vehicle. Keynote speakers include Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport Baroness Vere of Norbiton and West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor Andy Street.

The event is being organised by the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO), the holding company set up to oversee the innovation centre, together with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Coventry City Council, WMG at the University of Warwick and Rider Levett Bucknall.

BCIMO Chief Executive Nick Mallinson said: ‘Having been an advocate of VLR since 2014, it is extremely rewarding to witness its increasing recognition as an important future transport mode, and I believe that the Coventry and Revolution projects signify the start of a very exciting journey for the VLR industry.

‘Through the VLRNIC, our aim is to take a collaborative approach to support the development of the VLR market, together with the technologies, supply chains and future workforces required to support this.’

Other topics being discussed include the importance of VLR, progress to date, and the latest technologies.

Physical attendance at the conference is limited, but the event is being live streamed. To register as a virtual attendee, visit