The first Urbos 3 tram in Midland Metro’s £40m new fleet will go on display for the public this weekend at the St George’s stop in Wolverhampton.
Between 9am and 3pm on 14 June 2014, commuters and transport enthusiasts will be able to climb aboard and look around one of the new Spanish-built vehicles.
The first of the 21-strong fleet will start going into service will start going into service between Wolverhampton and Birmingham Snow Hill later this summer. Over the following months, Centro will steadily replace all the existing trams with the new ones.
Made by Zaragoza-based CAF, the Urbos 3 vehicles are a third bigger than Metro's existing trams, carrying around 210 passengers compared to 156 on the current T69 model. This, together with an increased frequency of every six minutes throughout the day, is expected to boost the system’s overall capacity by 40%.
Cllr Roger Horton, Centro’s lead member for rail, said: “The existing Metro service is already very good but these new trams, with their 21st century technology and modern, spacious design, will improve things still further.
“They are quieter, smoother and generally more comfortable than the existing trams but this Saturday’s event will give people a chance to come and see for themselves.”
The new trams will eventually be deployed on the Metro extension, which is being constructed between Birmingham’s Snow Hill and New Street stations which, when completed next year, will see trams return to the city's streets for the first time in more than 60 years.
The extension, a joint project by Centro and the Black Country and Birmingham City councils, is expected to create more than 1,300 new jobs and boost the regional economy by more than £50m a year.