Book Review: An Illustrated History of the Midland Metro T69 Trams

Sometimes when you get a new book it is very difficult to put it down and that is exactly the case with Andrew Coward’s new book “An Illustrated History of the Midland Metro T69 Trams” which as the title should suggest to you takes a look at the original Midland Metro trams as they come to the end of their initial operating careers.

Anyone who has a copy of Andrew’s previous tram book (Superb – A Tribute to the Manchester Metrolink T68 & T68A Light Rail Vehicles) will know what to expect from this book and it certainly doesn’t disappoint with hundreds of high quality images of the trams from contruction through their main operating years to departure for Long Marston and storage ahead of possible reuse.

Produced with full cooperation from Travel Midland Metro and Centro the book gives a full and detailed history of the T69 trams and includes a look at the T69 design with many interesting images of the trams being constructed in Italy ahead of their transport to the West Midlands. There is then a look at the preparations for service, the opening of the line, a detailed look at the technical side of the trams with explanations of the cab controls and there is an interesting chapter on the training drivers have to go through before being let loose on the public. Other highlights of the book includes a detailed look at the “Long Goodbye” of the trams with the first withdrawal taking place way back in 2006 and there is also a look at the T69s at Long Marston and the UK Tram plans for a test fleet. But that list doesn’t give a full flavour of the book as there is much, much more for you to enjoy!

The book is illustrated with over 350 images showing the trams over the past 16 years including several images of trams which haven’t run in service for many years and rare behind the scenes photos. As with most tram books these photos add a lot to the story and make this a very high quality publication. The layout is clear and for those of you who like facts and figures there is plenty of information to keep you happy including recent mileage figures of some of the trams and when many of them last ran.

Modern trams in the UK has often been a neglected subject for books but first with “Superb” and now with “An Illustrated History of the Midland Metro T69 Trams” Andrew Coward has set the benchmark for books on this subject and shows that despite the fact the history doesn’t go back too far there are still many fascinating stories to tell. This book is highly recommended to anyone with even just a passing interest in Midland Metro and is well worth the cover price of £17.50.

* The easiest way to get a copy of “An Illustrated History of the Midland Metro T69 Trams” is to visit http://www.buryrossendalerails.com/ where you can order it online. And if you haven’t yet got your copy of “Superb” now is the ideal opportunity to do so as you can get both books for just £27.50 through the above website!

The subject of the book reviewed above is the Midland Metro T69s. We see one of the remaining operational members of this class in action 06 on 30th April 2015. Although most weekdays still see some T69s in use - but this is not guaranteed - their use is getting less and less so get them whilst you can! (Photography by Andy Walters)

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2 Responses to Book Review: An Illustrated History of the Midland Metro T69 Trams

  1. David Mee says:

    Received my copy yesterday and I cannot put it down. A first class read, many fantastic photos, and all presented in a clear and very high quality fashion. A worthy tribute to these smart looking machines and the line they run on.

  2. Stephen says:

    I got my copy last week and pretty much finished the entire book over two nights. I was very impressed by the work Andy has put in and it helped answer a fair few questions I had on the tram type. It will be sad to see it go out of service but this book give it a fitting tribute.