Metro Reaches Grand Central – Take A Video Trip

OD4A9686Today at 8am the first tram covered the extension from Bull Street to Stephenson Street outside the northern entrances to New Street Station and Grand Central.

Now the trip between the Stephenson Street stop and Wolverhampton centre takes just 40 minutes! And, in contrast with driving along the Hagley Road and Wolverhampton New Road with their many, many traffic lights, one can  sit back, relax and let the tram driver do the work. The hassle of dealing with other road users is gone!

As well as being much faster  than a car journey it’s far cheaper being at most return £8.

The extension has cost £128million and taken 4 years to construct, so it certainly deserves a try if you haven’t yet experienced this superior form of local travel.

Safety of pedestrians?…

This appears to have been of utmost consideration. Trams running through pedestrian streets run at a maximum of 15mph and will use a bell to warn people of their approach (if unnoticed) and a loud horn to give a more urgent warning.

Today many officials were lining the route advising people to walk along the pavements rather than the roads with tram rails and answering questions. The local population may then set an example for the millions of visitors to the city centre. My experience on several rides was that the drivers were very cautious and travelling much less than 15mph. For many years, trams have shared streets with pedestrians, horse-drawn and motor driven vehicles without too many conflicts, I assume. Otherwise current health and safety laws would not allow the trams.

I took trips between Stephenson Street and Bull Street this morning and recorded the journey with my camera. Below is the video and below that some stills showing how the tram looks against the familiar buildings en route.

Have a look over the driver’s shoulder as he navigates city centre streets…

Scenes from Bull Street to Stephenson Street…

Viewing Instructions:
1. 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.
2. 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”.

Article by Geoff Caine


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