A contract to deliver tram-trains to South Yorkshire has been signed by Transport Minister Norman Baker.
The new service, which is being run as part of a two-year trial of the technology, will operate between Rotherham Parkgate and Sheffield city centre from 2016.
The specially-built tram-trains will connect Rotherham and Sheffield along a mix of light and heavy rail lines.
If the pilot study is successful tram-trains could be rolled out across the country.
The new vehicles, which are being built by Vossloh, will be dual voltage, taking into account any future plans to electrify the Midland Mainline.
Norman Baker said: “Providing better connections between the heart of Sheffield and Rotherham’s centres and residential areas will help to reinvigorate the local economy. It will also encourage people to leave their cars at home.
“Tram-Trains are an innovative and high-capacity transport system which have proved very successful in other European cities.
“We will be monitoring the scheme over the course of the next two years and I look forward to seeing if it would be appropriate to replicate it elsewhere in the UK.”
Tram-trains are already being used across Europe in Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.