Mid­land Metro’s orig­i­nal tram fleet up for sale

Rail (UK) - - News -

Trans­port for the West Mid­lands is sell­ing its orig­i­nal fleet of An­saldo T69 trams, which op­er­ated on Line One of Mid­land Metro be­tween Birm­ing­ham Snow Hill and Wolver­hamp­ton St Ge­orge’s from 1999 un­til their re­place­ment in 2014.

The ve­hi­cles are to be sold via an e-auc­tion on Jan­uary 29, with 15 trams cur­rently in store at Long Marston up for dis­posal. Tram 16, which re­mains in store at Mid­land Metro’s Wed­nes­bury de­pot, is not in­cluded in the sale.

Six­teen T69 trams were built for Mid­land Metro by An­saldo, al­though the first ex­am­ple (Tram 01) was taken out of ser­vice as far back as 2006 and used as a source of spares. This was fol­lowed three years later by Tram 02, which was also ex­ten­sively stripped for spare parts.

The main with­drawals of the fleet came in 2013 and 2014, when they were re­placed by a new fleet of 21 CAF Ur­bos 3 trams.

A num­ber of the trams were stored in ser­vice­able con­di­tion, al­though most were in need of body­work over­hauls due to panel cor­ro­sion, while many had scrap tyres fit­ted on their bo­gies.

TfWM has stated that there is no re­serve set on the sale price of the ve­hi­cles, and it is pos­si­ble that this could lead to them be­ing ac­quired for pos­si­ble fur­ther use else­where, or be pur­chased for scrap­ping. Only reg­is­tered com­pa­nies are el­i­gi­ble to bid for the ve­hi­cles.

Since their with­drawal from ser­vice a num­ber of pos­si­ble fur­ther uses have been sug­gested for the ve­hi­cles, but none of these has come to fruition and whether they have a work­ing fu­ture re­mains to be seen.

Coun­cil­lor Roger Lawrence, the West Mid­lands Com­bined Au­thor­ity’s lead mem­ber for trans­port, said: “They’ve got more than a few thou­sand miles on the clock, but in their time the T69 trams were ex­cel­lent ser­vants for the Mid­land Metro. They are mostly still ser­vice­able, so the auc­tion is a good chance for some­one to get them­selves a bar­gain.”

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