Sir John is regarded as one of the most influential civil engineers alive today and has previously held many high profile positions including chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority and Chief Executive of Network Rail.
He is currently a member of the National Infrastructure Commission and is also leading an independent, infrastructure 'needs assessment' which will result in a report setting out the UK's infrastructure needs up to 2050 and different options for how these needs could be delivered.
Sheffield City region is the first place in the UK to receive funding for a Tram Train system which will provide better connections between Sheffield and neighbouring cities and aims to strengthen the local economy. The pilot will help determine whether Tram Trains can run in other parts of the country.
The pioneering transport project is being delivered by Carillion Rail with project partners Network Rail, Northern Rail and Stagecoach Supertram, and Sir John visited Carillion's site in Rotherham, where the tram and train systems will link.
Over the coming year, comprehensive design and engineering work will be carried out to adapt Sheffield's current rail system, to allow the new Tram Train service to run throughout the city, its outskirts and nearby towns.
While in Yorkshire Sir John also chaired a round table discussion with key figures from the Sheffield City Region and influential decision makers, to explore how the ICE can help with the delivery of infrastructure to promote regional development in a devolved funding environment.
Sir John said: "The innovation being developed here in Sheffield to deliver the first Tram Train scheme in South Yorkshire is inspiring. In my Presidential Address I stressed the need for the engineering community to innovate, collaborate and embrace and share new ideas. This project is a great example – an infrastructure scheme with integration and connectivity at its heart and one that could be replicated in cities throughout the country.
"It is also a fantastic boost for the 'Northern Powerhouse' that Sheffield was chosen as the pioneering city by the Department for Transport." he added.