Public outing for Birmingham’s new tram

One of Birmingham’s new Urbos 3 trams has been as Snow Hill station to show passengers what’s in store for the city’s public transport network.

The tram, one of 21 being built by Spanish manufacturer CAF, will eventually operate from Snow Hill through Bull Street, Corporation Street and Stephenson Street, before terminating outside a redeveloped New Street station.

The new £40 million fleet, which will enter service in the summer, will increase capacity on the network, with each vehicle carrying 210 passengers compared to 156 on the current T69.

Paul Griffiths, metro programme director for Centro, said: “[Passengers] praised it for its roominess, extra capacity and liked touches such as green seats indicating priority seating.

“The one constant question was ‘When are they coming into service?’, and we were happy to tell them that it will be in the summer.”

The trams, which were first unveiled at Midland Metro’s Wednesbury depot in October 2013, are currently undergoing testing.

The Urbos 3 light rail vehicle is the latest incarnation in the Urbos family, which are currently in use in Bilbao, Malaga, Vitoria, Seville, Edinburgh and Antalya.

Work is progressing on laying the on-street tracks for the £128 million city centre extension.