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http://rail-news.com/2010/10/21/trams-to-return-to-streets-of-birmingham/

I could not see a thread for this so mods delete if there is one already. This may be old news but it's the first I have heard in times of budget cuts. Should put a smile on Zim Flyer

From rail-news.com

Trams are set to return to the streets of Birmingham after the Government this afternoon approved plans by transport authority Centro to extend the Midland Metro through the heart of the city.

The exciting project will also include a fleet of new, bigger trams bringing major benefits to Metro in the Black Country by increasing passenger capacity and frequency of service to every six minutes throughout the day.

In announcing the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the Department for Transport’s approval for the £127.1 million scheme which will see the Metro exit Snow Hill Station and glide down Corporation Street before terminating at the redeveloped New Street Station.

The joint project by Centro, the region’s transport authority, the Black Country and Birmingham City councils, is expected to boost the West Midlands economy by £50 million a year and create up to 1,300 sustainable new jobs.

The extension will revolutionise the way people travel to and around the city, giving a fast link between Birmingham’s two major rail stations while delivering more than 3.5 million passengers a year right into the heart of the city’s shopping district.

It will also provide a fast link from New Street Station to the emerging business district at Snow Hill and the unique and historic Jewellery Quarter and serve as a platform for a future rapid transit network that can connect and feed into the city’s forthcoming High Speed Rail terminus.

In welcoming the announcement, Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip said: “This is fantastic news for Birmingham and the Black Country as it puts us on the way towards creating a truly world class public transport system for the West Midlands.

“This Metro extension is exactly what the Government wants to see from transport schemes, underpinning regeneration, boosting the economy and creating jobs.

“We intend to waste no time in pressing ahead with this exciting scheme so we can unlock those jobs and economic benefits as soon as possible. We plan to have the project completed to coincide with the opening of the New Street Gateway project at the end of 2014.”

The approval is seen as an important step forward in the plan to transform public transport in the city centre and propel Birmingham towards its goal of becoming a global city. Work on one of the other key elements, the £600 million Gateway redevelopment of New Street Station, is already well underway.

Work on the Metro extension will coincide and be closely co-ordinated with that on Gateway and phased to cause as minimal disruption as possible.

Infrastructure such as shelters and stops will also be carefully designed to reflect those at Gateway and the proposed new bus interchange facilities for the city centre, another key element in the city centre transport master plan.

The extension will see trams follow a route from the existing Metro terminus at Snow Hill, along a £9 million viaduct already built by developer Ballymore, down Upper Bull Street and Corporation Street and on to Stephenson Street stopping outside a new entrance at New Street Station.

The extension is expected to take around two years to build with work starting on street in 2012. Other parts of the project, such as a major extension to the Metro maintenance depot at Wednesbury, will start sooner.

Centro chairman Cllr Angus Adams, added: “Birmingham is the only city of its size in Europe without a rapid transit system even though the economic advantages of having such networks are well proven. Today’s approval will help the West Midlands compete with its European and world rivals and help safeguard our future prosperity.”
 

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Rock Lord
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Hi mate, it certainly did, it really is good news.

I don't think there is a Midland Metro thread in the transport one, so lets start this one.

Birmingham forumers, do we have any pictures of what the new trams will look like?
 

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Its amazing really, started in 2009 and continuing into 2010 we have the second (possibly third if you count around millenium as a second) boom in modern tram construction.

Manchester Metrolink- Tripling in size
Nottingham Net- Doubling in size
Midland Metro- Small extension and complete fleet replacement
Blackpool Tramway- Complete refurbishment, new fleet
Edinburgh Tramway- New system, though beset by problems
Preston Tramway- 1 private financed demonstrator line which could lead to a £100m private financed network
Wirral Tramway- Merseytravel acquired planning 2nd hand fleet expansion and extension
Croydon Tramlink- No solid expansion funded but likely acquistion of 4 more trams for extra capacity
T&W Metro- £500m over 30 years for refurbishment and new fleet
Docklands- massive fleet expansion just finished
St Albans- New tramway approved opening in as little as 3 years
Heaton Park tramway- Extension underway, weekday operation planned


Fallen by the wayside sadly:
Sheffield expansion
Merseytram
Cross-Thames tram
Leeds tram
 

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Actually, even the clapped-out Russian(?) picture shown would have been better, rather than nearly getting rid of trams in Britain altogether.

In Birmingham, they used to run down the central reservation of the Bristol Road dual-carriageway, to Longbridge and beyond, but I suppose a car factory wasn't the most tactful of destinations.

According to Boris, the Crystal Palace tram extension, and Dagenham Dock DLR extension were also abandoned (again) in the last few days.

But better a glass half-full than half-empty, so the other announcements are welcome.

--ooOoo--

However, the £4.5-billion Brent Cross development in north London, at the bottom of the M1 - which ought to have financed, or at least not built over possible future light-rail connections (they existed in a 2001 plan) - will be rubber-stamped by Barnet 'easy-Council' next week.

(Brian Coleman, Barnet's transport executive member, and GLA member for Barnet and Camden, announced a policy of "road, roads, roads, and roads" when re-elected last May.)

Nevertheless, Brent Cross may still be stopped by legal action, so the fat lady hasn't yet sung.

--ooOoo--

But tell us more about Preston - is there really a private capital route to open lines?
 

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(Brian Coleman, Barnet's transport executive member, and GLA member for Barnet and Camden, announced a policy of "road, roads, roads, and roads" when re-elected last May.)
Really? Because you wouldn't think so considering how bad the roads are in Barnet! :lol:
 

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Simples
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The Birmingham Metro extension is really welcome news because - although only a small extension - it is needed as a first step for the proposed future lines to the airport and Hagley road coridor. The other parts of the funding (for new trams and enhanced depot) also being needed for the likely next proposed stage the Brierly Hill route through the Black Country. Incremental improvements are always welcome.
 

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But tell us more about Preston - is there really a private capital route to open lines?
Its a small though long running engineering company coming from a background of visitor attraction people movers, their called Trampower and want to start building trams (theyve been tendering contracts for the last decade never won anything), their gimmick is that their trams are incredibly light using the weight reduction to despec the trams structure and reduce weight even further. Some of their rail track is used on the Sheffield system and they sell other infrastructure components like OHLE.

The Preston scheme is basically running one tram prototype back and forth on an abandoned freight line from a P&R to a large shopping centre for a year, their hope is to attract private funding to build some more P&R-City centre routes on former freight lines and build a full fleet.
 

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Its amazing really, started in 2009 and continuing into 2010 we have the second (possibly third if you count around millenium as a second) boom in modern tram construction.

Manchester Metrolink- Tripling in size
Nottingham Net- Doubling in size
Midland Metro- Small extension and complete fleet replacement
Blackpool Tramway- Complete refurbishment, new fleet
Edinburgh Tramway- New system, though beset by problems
Preston Tramway- 1 private financed demonstrator line which could lead to a £100m private financed network
Wirral Tramway- Merseytravel acquired planning 2nd hand fleet expansion and extension
Croydon Tramlink- No solid expansion funded but likely acquistion of 4 more trams for extra capacity
T&W Metro- £500m over 30 years for refurbishment and new fleet
Docklands- massive fleet expansion just finished
St Albans- New tramway approved opening in as little as 3 years
Heaton Park tramway- Extension underway, weekday operation planned


Fallen by the wayside sadly:
Sheffield expansion
Merseytram
Cross-Thames tram
Leeds tram
You forgot to add the Portsmouth Tram/Subway to the list....


...of fallen by the Wayside. Apparantly, according to Labour, the most densely populated city in the country, which is an island with 3 roads on to it, doesn't warrant a transport system.
 

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INACTIVE
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Its amazing really, started in 2009 and continuing into 2010 we have the second (possibly third if you count around millenium as a second) boom in modern tram construction.

...
Docklands- massive fleet expansion just finished
...
The DLR is a light railway in much the same way that a Shepherd's Pie is made from real shepherds. It's an urban metro, and has been for decades now. As is the T&W Metro. (In the latter case, the clue's in the name.)

I think it's stretching the definition of the term to refer to either of these as "trams".

But I agree with your sentiment.
 

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Their light railways and regulated as such, only networks treated as metros in this country in the eyes of the government are London Underground, Merseyrail, Glasgow Subway, London Overground.

T&W despite the names light rail, see what the same vehicles look like with a different bodyshell for one.

 

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they've been saying they were going to do this little extension since 1994/6... but the city has been waiting for trams to really return to its streets since the 80's
 
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