In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Dogs on trams in the West Midlands, Edinburgh Trams provide a boost for Poppy Appeal, ‘Get on Board’ campaign in Manchester, and a replica Metro train takes to the stage in Newcastle.
West Midlands Metro
Well-behaved pet dogs will continue to be allowed on trams in the West Midlands until a final decision is made on changes to rules covering the carriage of pets on board.
A three-month trial came to an end this week, and the operator of West Midlands Metro is keen to ensure everyone has had a chance to submit their feedback before any permanent policy is introduced.
Anthony Stanley, Metro’s Head of Quality Health Safety and Environment, said the trial has gone well, and you can read the full story here.
The operator of Edinburgh’s tram network has delivered a timely boost for Scotland’s armed forces charity following acts of national remembrance over the weekend.
The operator of the city’s award-winning tramway has donated £500 to the Scotland Poppy Appeal, which aims to ensure veterans and serving members of the army, navy, and air force receive the support they need.
As reported here, the donation was made possible thanks to an initiative that saw the operator reuse specially designed poppies for display in tram windows as a mark of respect to those women and men who made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield.
Residents and visitors are being reminded of the several ways available to them for getting around at night – whether that’s after going out for the evening or travelling to or from work.
The call to ‘get on board’ is being backed by Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, and Transport Commissioner Vernon Everitt.
It comes on the back of the reinstatement of later trams on Friday and Saturday nights, with trams now running up to 1am. Trams will also run until 1am on New Year’s Eve to allow revellers to get home, and you can read more here.
Tyne & Wear Metro
A life-sized replica of a Metro train in its iconic yellow livery has been wowing audiences at Newcastle’s Live Theatre.
The mocked-up version of the original Metro prototype, carriage 4001, in its familiar 1980s colour scheme, is the centrepiece for Gerry and Sewell, a play which tells the story of two Gateshead lads who are desperate to see their team, Newcastle United, play at home.
The Metro brand’s prominence in the play underscored its social and cultural importance.
The Metro train, along with its famous Metro logo and station cube, make up the set for Gerry and Sewell, a production that has won rave reviews, and you can read more on the story here.
In the West Midlands, the full line to Digbeth is to open later than planned because construction work on the tram track through Curzon Street Station cannot begin until HS2 have handed over the site – which is not expected to be until 2026 at the earliest.
So regional transport bosses are now set to approve plans for a temporary stop and terminus, to open in 2025/26, which will offer seamless links between the tram and train and bus services at Moor Street Station and the Bus Mall, as well as a convenient stop for Birmingham City University and Millennium Point.
By this time, West Midlands Metro service will have been extended as far as Dudley town centre, helping connect more parts of the region via fast and frequent tram services and full details can be found here.
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