The day many had feared would come has finally arrived – a complete Midland Metro weekday service has been operated by the new Urbos 3 trams. The fateful day – or historic day depending on your viewpoint – occurred on Thursday 12th March with the only 10 available CAF built trams being used in service without any obvious problems.
The lucky 10 Urbos 3s in service were 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 31 with an eleventh member of the class also out on test (32). The only other Urbos 3 to have carried passengers so far is 21 but this seems to be out of service again although it did manage a few days of service last month having previously been unavailable for use.
Throughout the day T69s 08 and 10 were on standby outside the depot in case they were required but the Urbos 3s managed to cope without needing replacement and a major milestone in the history of Midland Metro was reached.
It remains to be seen whether this was just an experiment to see if the Urbos 3s could operate a full service or whether this is the future and the T69s will just be on standby for the immediate future. But with only 10 of the new trams available and cleared for passenger service it is likely to be a while yet before we can fully say goodbye to the T69s.