The Metro line from Bull Street to New Street Station and Grand Central (in Stephenson Street) was due to open for passengers on Sunday 22 May.
But, alas not! Some track alignment problems have been found during final testing which need to be remedied before the service can start.
Centro’s Midland Metro programme director Phil Hewitt said:
“It is bitterly disappointing as everything else is in place and ready to go but, as we have said right from the start, safety is paramount.
“A stringent testing programme has identified minor anomalies in some of the track alignment which need to be addressed.
“These are exactly the sort of issues the tests were designed to identify.
“However remedial work is relatively straightforward. Once that is complete, on-street driver training can begin and we will soon have passenger services running.”
I understand that driver training will take a week.
Once the service starts it will be a wonderful rebirth of Birmingham’s trams which ran from 1904 to 1953 with 843 trams, 45 routes totalling 129 km.
Shown left is the last tram to run in 1953 (reproduced from Wikipedia).
Once started, the problems encountered with the complexities of historical sub-structures in city centre streets will soon be forgotten as Centro says:
“It is expected to boost the West Midlands economy by more than £50 million a year and create 1,300 new jobs.”
If you haven’t tried a ride on the latest tram, I really recommend you do so. Forget the car and its stress. Take the tram and relax instead. Trams are faster and a great experience! And they are greener.
Another image of the night-time tests in Corporation Street is below.