Monday 15 August 2016

Midland Metro

Trams 30 and 22 passing each other at the junction of Bull St and Corporation St in Birmingham
Midland Metro is a 13 mile long light rail line running between St George's tram station in Wolverhampton and Grand Central Station, next to Birmingham New Street railway station. The tramway is operated by National Express using a fleet of 21 Spanish built CAF Urbos 3 articulated trams. Most of the alignment of the route uses the former Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level line, with street running at either end, along Bilston Road in Wolverhampton and in the streets of Birmingham city centre.
Tram 37 named "Ozzy Osbourne", among new office buildings on Bull Street in Birmingham

Tram 35 on the grass tramway reservation near the Snow Hill tram stop in Birmingham
Tram 28 running along Corporation Street in the heart of Birmingham city centre
35 at the Priestfield stop in Wolverhampton, which is the last station on the former railway alignment
Tram 22 passing The New Inn on Bilston Road in Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton bound tram 23 passing beneath a railway bridge on Bilston Road
28 showing its vertical articulation as it crosses the canal bridge on Bilston Road in Wolverhampton

Sunday 7 August 2016

Seville Trams

Seville 304 heading south on the catenary free Avenida de la Constitución
Seville is the capital of Andalucia in Spain, and since 2007 has operated a short tramway in the city centre that goes under the name MetroCentro. The line is only 2.2 km long with five stops, and since 2011 the section that runs through the historic quarter past the cathedral has been catenary free. The original cars that were purchased to operate the route were replaced in 2011 with five new Urbos 3 articulated trams manufactured by CAF. The new trams run in battery mode on the catenary free section, charging up at the tram stops via a pantograph that raises to connect with a short section of overhead.

Seville 304 on the Avenida de la Constitución with the cathedral at the right
Seville 301 arriving at the Archivo de Indias tram stop
Seville 302 leaving the Plaza Nueva tram station at the northern end of the line
Seville 301 northbound on the catenary free Avenida de la Constitución
Seville 301 charging its batteries via the pantograph at the Archivo de Indias tram stop

Friday 5 August 2016

The Graca Circle

Route 12 Remodelado tram 577 on Rua Sao Tome at the junction with Graca Circle line 28
Probably the most famous tram route in Lisbon is the Graca Circle. The Graca Circle line is made up of two separate routes, the 12 and 28, both of which wind their way up from the city centre through the hilly Alfama district, before diverging and descending to meet up again at Praca Martim Moniz. These lines are like a twisting switchback, and are some of the steepest adhesion only tram routes in the world. Route 28 is the most popular of these two services with tourists, with the trams often running to capacity all day through the Alfama district. A shorter but equally hilly journey through Alfama can be made on the circular route 12, where the chance of finding a seat is much easier.
Remodelado tram 552 on the Graca Circle route 28 at Largo de Santa Luzia

Remodelado 577 at a tram stop on route 12 at Largo Portas do Sol

Remodelado tram 577 on route 12 with the Church of Sao Vicente of Fora in the background
Remodelado tram 579 descending the steep Rua Limoeiro on route 28
Remodelado tram 565 climbing Travessa Sao Tome on route 28
The interior of Remodelado tram 577 at the start of route 12 at Praca Martim Moniz

Thursday 4 August 2016

Lisbon Trams

Remodelado trams 562 and 543 passing each other on route 25 in the Praca do Comercio
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, and is famous for its hilly switchback tram system operated mostly by small 4-wheel trams run by Carris (Companhia Carris de Ferro de Lisboa) the Lisbon Tramways Company. Until the 1990s the system operated a diverse fleet of elderly trams including 4-wheelers, bogie cars and also trams with trailers. In 1995 ten modern three-section articulated trams were purchased from Siemens for the coastal route 15 to Alges, replacing the elderly bogie cars that were formerly used on this service. The remainder of the present day fleet is mostly comprised of 45 four-wheel 'Remodelado' trams, which began to be introduced in 1995, and are basically original 1930s 4-wheel tram bodies rebuilt and equipped with new trucks and electrical equipment, they are also single-ended and are fitted with both pantographs and trolley-poles, the poles being for use on the narrow, hilly routes. The standard fleet livery is yellow and white, although currently the majority of the trams are covered with adverts, there are also several dedicated 4-wheel tourist trams painted in a variety of colour schemes. The current system is comprised of five tram routes, the 12, 15, 18, 25 & 28.

Remodelado tram 578 on route 18 at Belem, closely followed by route 15 articulated car 509
Remodelado tram 551 on route 28, making the descent into the city through the hilly Alfama district

Remodelado tram 568 in standard fleet livery on route 15 at Belem, heading back towards the city
Route 12 Remodelado 564 and tour tram 735 pass each other in front of Lisbon Cathedral

Siemens articulated car 508 entering the Praca do Comercio on route 15 to Alges

Tour car 5 waiting at the tourist tram stop in the Praca do Comercio

Museum car 1 which is used to transport visitors around the Carris Tramway Museum

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Enviro 400 City Bus in Service

Enviro 400 City Bus 405 turning into Victoria Road in Cleveleys on service 9 to Blackpool
I finally caught up with the Palladium Enviro 400 City Buses in service today, after being away on holiday for a week. I managed to capture a few photos in Cleveleys during some brief spells of sunshine this afternoon.

Enviro 400 City Bus 401 heading west along Victoria Road in Cleveleys
Enviro 400 City Bus 409 at Cleveleys Bus Station
A rear view of Enviro 400 City Bus 405 on Victoria Road in Cleveleys

DAF DB250LF 365 and Enviro 400 City 408 at Cleveleys Bus Station
Palladium branded Volvo B7RLE 530 and Enviro 400 City 409 at Cleveleys Bus Station

Monday 1 August 2016

Porto Trams

Tram 218 departing from the Carmo terminus heading towards Batalha on Line 22
Porto is the second city of Portugal, and for many years it boasted a comprehensive tram system of over 20 routes operated by the Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto (STCP, the Porto Public Transport Society) which took over from the private Porto Tramways Company (CCFP) in 1946. By 1996 all that remained of the former extensive network was just one route (Line 18), this being downgraded from a full tram service to a heritage operation, with buses operating most of the journeys and three heritage trams running on a 35 minute headway. Since that time heritage routes 1 and 22 have been introduced, although the service seemed rather sporadic at the time of my visit in July, especially in the morning. Only four trams are required for the current heritage service, which nominally operates on a 30 minute headway, with two trams being used on the longer Line 1 route. Most of the 4-wheel trams currently in use were constructed between 1938 and 1945 by the Companhia Carris de Ferro do Porto (CCFP, the Porto Tramways Company), probably using components from earlier trams, although unfortunately the records from the period have been lost. However tram 131 is a genuine 1910 built product of J G Brill of Philadelphia in the USA, although it was later modified with extended platforms and the addition of doors around 1948.

Tram 213 on its way from Carmo to Massarelos on Line 18
Tram 131, ordered from J G Brill of Philadelphia in 1909, seen turning onto Line 18 at Massarelos
The interior of 131, a 1910 Brill built barrel-roof semi-convertible tram, still in daily service in 2016
Tram 216 at the Infante terminus of Line 1 close to the city centre
Tram 213 at Carmo on Line 18, in front of the Carmalitas and Carmo churches
Tram 220 on Line 1 at Massarelos is still in fleet livery devoid of adverts
Massarelos tram depot, showing that most of the fleet are now covered with gaudy advertising vinyls

Flexity Outlook MP054 leading a Line D train across the River Douro on the 1886 Dom Luis I Bridge
A pair of Flexity Outlook Eurotrams crossing the 1886 Dom Luis I Bridge on Metro Line D