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03 Dec 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Metro trams 34 and 35 on a test run between Grand Central and Town Hall (November 2019)

West Midlands Metro had trams 34 and 35 out at lunchtime on the 20th November 2019. When I saw them go between Grand Central Tram Stop on Stephenson Street to Town Hall Tram Stop on Paradise Street (I didn't have time to go to Centenary Square). They kept going up and down Pinfold Street, using the stop at Grand Central that has been out of service for a few years.

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West Midlands Metro trams 34 and 35 on a test run between Grand Central and Town Hall (November 2019)





West Midlands Metro had trams 34 and 35 out at lunchtime on the 20th November 2019. When I saw them go between Grand Central Tram Stop on Stephenson Street to Town Hall Tram Stop on Paradise Street (I didn't have time to go to Centenary Square). They kept going up and down Pinfold Street, using the stop at Grand Central that has been out of service for a few years.


This observation of the trams on a test run was on the lunchtime of Wednesday 20th November 2019. Involving trams 34 and 35. On this day I popped up towards Victoria Square, then back down to Stephenson Street. I saw tram 23 on a test run between the Town Hall and Centenary Square on Friday 22nd November 2019 (link to that post near the bottom of this post).

I had just missed Tram 34 heading down Stephenson Street. Seen leaving Grand Central Tram Stop. While tram 33 was in service to Wolverhampton.

I popped up to Victoria Square via Pinfold Street and found West Midlands Metro Tram 35 at Town Hall Tram Stop.

This was the tram formerly called Angus Adams (not sure why it was denamed). Also the tram the Queen got on board 4 years ago in 2015 (at Bull Street Tram Stop).

Tram 35 seen heading past Victoria Square and the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market, making it's way under battery power down Pinfold Street.

Tram 35 heading down Pinfold Street before turning left onto Stephenson Street. Birmingham New Street Station is directly ahead.

Tram 35 comes to a stop at Grand Central Tram Stop. Trams in service were still using the platform next to Birmingham New Street Station.

The view from Caffe Nero as Tram 34 departs from Grand Central Tram Stop. As it was out of service, passengers could not board this tram.

As I sat in Caffe Nero, saw both trams 34 and 35 returning both ways on a test up and down the Westside Metro extension. Bit of an awkward view from the table I sat at. Later in the day I did pop back to Victoria Square (after dark) but did not see any trams on the new extension, but was an opening to Town Hall Tram Stop.

 

Bonus photos.

Tram 30 heading down Stephenson Place towards the current Grand Central terminus.

Tram 36 seen at the end of October 2019. Now with the full blue livery and the My Metro app adverts still on it (passing Martineau Place and Poundland). The other advert trams are also now fully blue. Although tram 19 (1999 - 2019 - 20 Years) is unchanged.

On the 22nd November 2019 I observed tram 23 on a test between Town Hall and Centenary Square. Watch this space as that will be in a separate post to this one.

See that post here West Midlands Metro tram 23 on a test run between Town Hall Tram Stop and Centenary Square Tram Stop (November 2019).

 

Update on the 28th November 2019. It's been a few weeks since Jasper Carrott himself had a ride on a tram for the first time in 70 years (towards Centenary Square). And they had a naming ceremony on tram 28 near the Town Hall in Victoria Square. Been waiting and waiting to see this tram with his name! Finally saw it at Grand Central Tram Stop as it departed for Wolverhampton.

I have heard / read that Town Hall Tram Stop might be called Birmingham Town Hall Tram Stop. And Centenary Square Tram Stop maybe given the name Birmingham Library Tram Stop. Will have to wait and see when the stops actually opens in December 2019.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Transport
27 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

Return of the Polar Express at Birmingham Moor Street Station (22nd November to 22nd December 2019)

It's back! The Polar Express from Vintage Trains. On at weekends from the 22nd November to 22nd December 2019. I saw it at Birmingham Moor Street Station on Sunday 24th November 2019. This was the 14:40 service. I went to get the Chiltern Railways 14:55 service (as far as Solihull).

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Return of the Polar Express at Birmingham Moor Street Station (22nd November to 22nd December 2019)





It's back! The Polar Express from Vintage Trains. On at weekends from the 22nd November to 22nd December 2019. I saw it at Birmingham Moor Street Station on Sunday 24th November 2019. This was the 14:40 service. I went to get the Chiltern Railways 14:55 service (as far as Solihull).


Last year's Post here Shakespeare and Polar Express.

Chiltern Railways 168002 (the train I would ride one stop to Solihull) and 45305 Alderman A. E. Draper seen at platform 3 and 4 at Birmingham Moor Street Station respectfully. The Polar Express is back for the festive season for the 2nd year. I saw families and kids arrive through an open gate (I used the ticket barrier).

This steam locomotive is from the Great Central Railway. 45305 Alderman A. E. Draper. Built in 1936. Originally numbered 5305 for the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMSR). After nationalisation in 1948, British Railways renumbered it as 45305. Withdrawn in 1968. Saved by Albert Drapers and Sons Ltd. Named Alderman A E Draper in 1984. From 1996 was with the Great Central Railway.

Carriages further down platform 4.

20 189 was at the end.

Close up of 20 189, I last saw her at the Tyseley Locomotive Works at the open day 2 months earlier.

Lined up the shot with the Birmingham Moor Street sign.

Looking towards Primark. My train 168002 on the right at platform 3 (looks so small).

Selfridges to the left.

I got on my train sometime after 14:30 and got these close up shots of the steam locomotive. This showing the number 45305.

First saw the nameplate Alderman A. E. Draper here.

With all the steam, the windows on my train were steaming up. Was another 10 minutes before the Polar Express left, and I had to wait 25 minutes before my train departed.

Red lights above the buffer in front of 45305. Way Out and Refreshment signs in the background.

Nameplate about the dedication to the memory of Albert E. Draper. Who was the former Alderman and Mayor of the Borough of Hedon, East Yorkshire.

Just after 14:40 as scheduled, the Polar Express slowly reversed out of Platform 3. While I waited another 15 minutes, another Chiltern Railways Class 168 train arrived from London Marylebone.

My train later passed the Polar Express while it was a red light at Small Heath Station. Didn't take photos from the train as wasn't expected it there. Instead watch this video on Youtube Vintage Trains The Polar Express 24/11/2019. Video by TNXRail.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Transport
25 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
News & Updates

West Midlands Metro tram 23 on a test run between Town Hall Tram Stop and Centenary Square Tram Stop (November 2019)

I did walk up Pinfold Street into Victoria Square again but saw no trams go up or down. So I headed to Centenary Square (after a coffee stop in Starbucks). And saw West Midlands Metro tram 23 on a test run between Town Hall Tram Stop and Centenary Square Tram Stop. I then popped up to the Library of Birmingham to see it. Had a 20 to 25 min wait to see the same tram again!

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West Midlands Metro tram 23 on a test run between Town Hall Tram Stop and Centenary Square Tram Stop (November 2019)





I did walk up Pinfold Street into Victoria Square again but saw no trams go up or down. So I headed to Centenary Square (after a coffee stop in Starbucks). And saw West Midlands Metro tram 23 on a test run between Town Hall Tram Stop and Centenary Square Tram Stop. I then popped up to the Library of Birmingham to see it. Had a 20 to 25 min wait to see the same tram again!


First up, West Midlands Metro tram 21 departing Grand Central Tram Stop. Now in the full blue livery with the red Just Eat adverts as it moves onto the Wolverhampton bound tracks.

When walking up Stephenson Street I think I saw another tram arrive at Grand Central, but none as I walked up Pinfold Street, into Victoria Square through the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. After a coffee stop in Starbucks, I headed towards Centenary Square.

West Midlands Metro tram 23 seen heading through Paradise Circus Queensway. The roadway is now complete. The view towards Suffolk Street Queensway and the Beetham Tower.

Heading past Arena Central and Dandara, onto what used to be Broad Street. The Bus Gate has been rebuilt by the looks of it.

Tram 23 comes to a stop outside of HSBC UK at Arena Central. Before continuing onto Centenary Square Tram Stop.

I next crossed through Centenary Square around the ice rink of Ice Skate Birmingham and headed into the Library of Birmingham. And went up to Level 3 and onto the Discovery Terrace. I waited around for around 10 minutes or so, even getting more photos of Ice Skate Birmingham, and the Westside Metro extension without the tram. Then went up to Level 7 to go to the Secret Garden.

Eventually I saw tram 23 heading round Paradise Circus Queensway. Looks like cars or buses in future would have to head down the slip road onto Suffolk Street Queensway.

Seen here heading onto what used to be Broad Street but is now considered to be Centenary Square. As it passes the Alpha Tower and HSBC UK at Arena Central.

Passing HSBC UK at 1 Centenary Square.

The Birmingham Big Wheel as tram 23 arrives at Centenary Square Tram Stop.

End of the line, at least for another 2 years. Welcome to Centenary Square Tram Stop.

Heading back towards Town Hall Tram Stop. Back on Paradise Circus Queensway. I think Easy Row Subway is still under there, but the bridge has been reinforced.

About to turn left towards Paradise Street. Which is Tram only. So if you are in a car, don't drive down there OK!

These trams are quite flexible and bendy. No over head wires, all battery powered.

Passing Paradise Birmingham (on the left).

Now on Paradise Street heading towards Town Hall Tram Stop (for Victoria Square).

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
19 Nov 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Coca Cola Christmas Truck in Birmingham over the years

The world famous Coca Cola Christmas Truck used to make an annual visit to Birmingham (and other places across the UK). It will not be returning to Birmingham in December 2019 (instead to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre near Dudley). Instead enjoy this gallery of photos from the Bullring (2014 and 2016) and Eastside City Park (2017 and 2018).

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Coca Cola Christmas Truck in Birmingham over the years





The world famous Coca Cola Christmas Truck used to make an annual visit to Birmingham (and other places across the UK). It will not be returning to Birmingham in December 2019 (instead to the Merry Hill Shopping Centre near Dudley). Instead enjoy this gallery of photos from the Bullring (2014 and 2016) and Eastside City Park (2017 and 2018).


St Martin's Square, Bullring, December 2014

I was first able to get photos of the world famous Coca Cola Christmas Truck at the Bullring in St Martin's Square on the early evening on the 11th December 2014.

Was a crowd of people in the queue to get a free can of Coca Cola, or pose with the truck. Was near Selfridges, St Martin's Church and a Christmas tree.

Views from the upper level balcony at the Bullring are best to see the Coca Cola Truck (and other things that park here).

The Coca Cola Truck always drew a crowd of people.

You know the "holidays are coming" when Santa brings his Coca Cola Truck to town!

St Martin's Square, Bullring, December 2016

Thanks to Birmingham Updates for using one my 2016 photos on their Social Media posts, I now know that it wont be returning to Birmingham in December 2019.

I next saw the Coca Cola Truck when it returned to the Bullring on the 17th December 2016. This time got my photos in the daylight hours.

Similar views as before, but you can see the Coca Cola Truck properly now. A Coke man takes a families photo with the truck.

The Bullring's 2016 Christmas tree look rather artificial that year. This is the photo that Birmingham Updates used. Coca Cola Truck Bham Updates.

Getting different views, but more of the same.

Going round the side of Selfridges for this view of the Coca Cola Truck at the Bullring.

Ice Skate Birmingham, Eastside City Park, December 2017

The next time I saw the Coca Cola Truck was when it visited Ice Skate Birmingham in Eastside City Park. This was on the 9th December 2017. This was the day before it snowed. I was coming back on the train from a day out in Bedworth. Not much of a view from the train, so I headed to Eastside after I arrived at Birmingham New Street Station.

Close up view of the world famous Coca Cola Truck. New views with it included The Woodman pub and Curzon Street Station.

This view with the Birmingham Big Wheel and the other rides that were at Ice Skate Birmingham. They found this site in 2017 due to the then redevelopment of Centenary Square (which took two years in the end).

Slightly further back with the Birmingham Big Wheel. It would be nice to get something like this again in Westside, but the Coca Cola Truck isn't coming to Birmingham this year.

Last 2017 view as the light faded. Masshouse residential blocks to the right. Rotunda in the middle and the Birmingham Big Wheel to the left.

Ice Skate Birmingham, Eastside City Park, December 2018

Spending a section festive season in Eastside City Park, Ice Skate Birmingham once again hosted the return of the Coca Cola Christmas Truck. I saw it on the early evening of the 15th December 2018, in rainy sleety cold and freezing weather!

Despite the weather conditions, the resulting photos looking quite Christmasy, even thought it wasn't snowing. The Birmingham Big Wheel to the right. With The Woodman pub seen behind.

For 2018, they parked the Coca Cola Truck in a slightly different position. Also Ice Skate Birmingham were further to the right, as the land they used previously was now HS2 land.

Probably due to the weather, there wasn't many people around.

Still the sleety rain added to the effect of a Coca Cola Christmas!

I hope people at Merry Hill enjoy it. Never been there myself. Although I know that you can get a bus from Cradley Heath Station (which is on the Snow Hill lines). According to the Birmingham Mail, it will be in Merry Hill on the 6th and 7th December 2019. Coca-Cola Christmas truck 2019 heads to intu Merry Hill.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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60 passion points
Transport
21 Oct 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Southdown and Bath Bus Company buses at the Great Birmingham Run 2019

Walking up the Edgbaston Road to check out a bit of the Great Birmingham Run. Had to give up the idea of going into Cannon Hill Park, and the Cricket Ground was quiet. Anyway saw this pair of buses at the Pershore Road junction as runners went past up the Pershore Road.

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Southdown and Bath Bus Company buses at the Great Birmingham Run 2019





Walking up the Edgbaston Road to check out a bit of the Great Birmingham Run. Had to give up the idea of going into Cannon Hill Park, and the Cricket Ground was quiet. Anyway saw this pair of buses at the Pershore Road junction as runners went past up the Pershore Road.


I was expecting runners to be coming out of Cannon Hill Park and around Edgbaston Cricket Ground, but Great Run had to cancel that. So Edgbaston Road was a bit quiet while it was completely closed from the Willows Road / Russell Road end.

Saw this pair of open top buses at the Edgbaston Road / Pershore Road junction.

Bath Bus Company with the Alzheimer's Society.

Southdown with the Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity.

People were cheering on the runners from the top deck of each bus. I headed right next up Pershore Road and went as far as Calthorpe Park before I left the runners behind.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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