Whilst there has yet to be an announcement about the return of passenger trams on West Midlands Metro (the initial “at least four week” runs out at the end of tomorrow), Thursday 9th December did see a tram out in Birmingham City Centre but it wasn’t under test or driver training in preparation for a return as it was hired for a filming assignment! Urbos3 28 was the chosen tram and was used for filming in connection with forthcoming ITV detective drama DI Ray.
The filming took place around the stop at Library and as well as the tram a similarly liveried bus was used – a bus which seems to have been used previously on the Thorpe Park shuttle judging by the crudely covered THORPEPARK.COM. In the scene that they were filming a woman runs in front of the bus narrowly avoiding being hit and is closely followed by a man. The man crosses the road directly in front of the tram (and avoiding becoming a new Alan Bradley!) and then runs into a couple of Police officers stabbing one before running off.
Filming was a long process with it taking most of day and a lot of that taken up with rehearsals and several takes of the bus although the tram was only used sparingly for much of the time.
With 28 having broken cover from the depot that presumably means it is cleared for service and has gone through the repairs to the cracks, in doing so it joins at least 33 in being available for passenger use (which we had previously seen in use on testing).
This filming provides a bit of a break from the when will it run again debate, but we now wait to see when a tram with passengers on is able to run on the line again. We’ll bring you more when we have it.