(A BRITISH RENAISSANCE)
Metrolink Manchester 2005
Well, it was such a long time coming wasn't it? - but the muddled British way of thinking that saw off some of our biggest and best tramway systems in the post-war era did seem to have changed with the construction in the 1990's of the Sheffield Supertram system. This was followed by Manchester's excellent MetroLink, Croydon's well planned Tramlink system and a sort of system (Midlands Metro) using mostly old rail routes between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. A short(ish) extension here from Snow Hill to New Street stations is almost complete, later to go on to Centenary Square and, at the other end from St Georges Square Wolverhampton to the Railway Station. Nottingham's first decade is almost with us, and, appropriately, two major extensions (to Chilwell and Clifton) are coming to fruition in 2015, albeit several months behind original plans ........ and of course, there's (at last!) Edinburgh, which experienced years of unforgivable political and financial wrangling and delays, doubling its projected cost to around £1 billion (including interest payments) and in the end reducing the intended system by more than half to just 14km, for which it will have to lick its wounds for many a year. Much of the difficulty seemingly arose with the Scottish government and its failure to see the value of such development. I suppose there were some like problems with all the others but somehow they were overcome less traumatically. But where else? There has, I have read been interest, if only as feasibility studies, from Liverpool,Birmingham,Southampton and Swansea,plus Leeds (which apparently is definitely not now going for trolleybuses!) This was talked about for years - why o' why did it take so long and get absolutely nowhere - more muddled British thinking I would say.
METROLINK MANCHESTER IN 2005
Near Salford Quays
Passing the G-MEX Centre - Once the grand Manchester terminus of the much missed Great Central main line. I well recall two visits to Manchester 1963 and 1964 travelling overnight to arrive here. It was then a grimy uncared for edifice so its present role and condition, given that we've lost the railway, probably for good is to be thoroughly welcomed
There have been extensions - at least one more is under construction as I write, and some changes since this visit and I believe all the rolling stock has been replaced. A little worrying if this was because the original stuff was worn out in only just over twenty years - I always thought of trams as lasting a great deal longer. Where did the original stock go, hopefully not scrapped! I am hoping to get there again but this will be 2017 now.
SHEFFIELD SUPERTRAM c.1996
I finally got there again - in 2014! There's been some upgrading and extension since my previous visit.........
I may be out of date here but I think the operation is currently in the hands of Stagecoach. Some years back they were running in that company's standard white with orange blue and red stripes which I never actually saw but have seen photographs. Unlike the Croydon case I have to admit that I like the current scheme a lot better than the original silver-grey.
103 is at Malin Bridge terminus
CROYDON (LONDON) TRAMLINK
Views from 2005
It's a long time indeed since my first visit here as recorded above and I had wanted to update the record so managed another visit there in 2015.
2536 is at Wimbledon Station. I have commented before (introduction page) about my preference for the original red/cream livery. Apart from all-over advertising ones the standard is now this lime green grey & blue.
2538 is one of the newer fleet members as are the following four.
An all-over advert (not sure what for) adorns 2554 at East Croydon Station. Am I right that in spite of the design spilling over onto the windows passengers see only clear glass from inside?
Original fleet 2533 is much in demand to New Addington - again at East Croydon
MIDLAND METRO (BIRMINGHAM-WOLVERHAMPTON)
NOTTINGHAM EXPRESS TRAMWAY - 2008
I shall shortly be putting some shots on the English Independents page of Barton buses at the Broad Meadow terminal area which was roughly in the left background of this shot underneath the large church which survives more or less the same today. Also in these views are glimpses of the high level viaducts by which the former GCR main line reached the city's former Victoria Station. This tram flyover is, I imagine, more or less on the same alignment and takes the tram to its terminus just above the current Midland Station.
Who's Next Then??............................
I have deliberately ommitted the Tyne & Wear Metro from this page. As it has no street running I pre
fer to think of it as a railway, and such photographic record as I have of it will eventually be included within the RAILWAYS page.
* I don't know how far this has got, or indeed how serious the proposal might be, but wouldn't it be nice if they and the government got their skates on so that a new service can be unveiled on a certain day in June 2011, exactly a century since the city started its first operations of this type.?