Today at 8am a Midland Metro tram entered Birmingham city centre streets for the first time…
There was once an extensive tram system in the streets of Birmingham, the last tram came to its final halt in 1953.
A new light tram system – Midland Metro – was proposed in 1988 and the 12.1/2 mile Line 1 between Birmingham’s Snow Hill Station and Wolverhampton city centre began operating in 1999.
The first extension to this was opened today which replaces the Snow Hill Station stop with a new stop in Bull Street.
A further extension is almost complete from Bull Street to Stephenson Street outside the northern entrance to New Street Station and the new Grand Central/John Lewis shopping complex. This was due to be opened in January but the New Street Station/Grand Central development and the Frankfurt Christmas Market have delayed matters and the extension is unlikely to open before the end of February.
Trials of the tram on the new track were carried out successfully during the past few days.
Today’s opening brought out many infrastructure enthusiasts, photographers and also local Councillor Kath Hartley who I noticed had posted photos of the tram in Bull Street on Twitter at 8:56am!
Two ladies from Centro aided by some young children in Christmas outfits were at the tram stop to greet passengers with free chocolates.
This inaugural event went smoothly and towards lunch time the rain stopped and the sun shone.
Below is a video I took over the drivers shoulder when travelling along the new extension towards Bull Street. Below that is a Gallery of photos I took.
1. View a larger version of a single image in a separate page – Right Click on the image then Left Click on “Open link in new tab” or “Open link in new window”.
2. Display an enlarged gallery – Left Click on an image – use the large side arrows to move between images – Left Click outside an image or press ESC to close the enlarged gallery.
Thanks Robert but I’m afraid that’s life!
Everything gets delayed in Birmingham City Centre, probably for two reasons:
1. It may be that no account can be taken or known of other developments that could hold things up – one project’s delay feeds into another, and hence accumulates to give a substantial delay. The planning process must surely be complex and long winded for infrastructure projects. This s true in all non-green land projects.
2. There is no proper documentation of underground cables and pipework from decades and centuries ago, so constructors can be saddled with unexpected work to reroute or reconstruct these.
New Street Station/Grand Central was delayed for nearly a year for difficulties encountered.
Both of these are great achievements against the odds and should be applauded.
This was the original time line https://www.flickr.com/photos/dofartshavelumps/9583250374/in/album-72157632777301645/