After a break of several weeks of new trams entering service Wednesday 3rd June saw the latest Urbos 3 enter service on Midland Metro with 30 operating its first passenger carrying duties. 30 had been undergoing extensive testing and commissioning over the past few weeks and with this now completed the tram was accepted by Midland Metro for use on the line between Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton St George’s.
30 arrived at Wednesbury Depot on 22nd September 2014 but did not start its major commissioning programme until earlier this year with a large backlog of the CAF built trams to go through this process.
Another Urbos 3 likely to enter service soon is 33 which has been seen regularly on the line under test and is believed to be approaching the end of the commissioning period. Meanwhile 35 has been regularly seen out on the mainline under test whilst 36 is only understood to have run one test run on 8th May 2015.
All this means that there are now 14 Urbos 3s available for service: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 – plenty to operate a full service which means it would seem the future of the T69s is rapidly reaching an end. Only four of the original trams are now available for service (06, 08, 10 and 16) but it is becoming rare for any more than two of these to be out at the same time (and even this is not guaranteed).