Another major milestone in the history of Phase Two of Nottingham Express Transit was reached on Friday 17th October when the first tram with passengers onboard went past the buffer stops at Station Street to take a special party to the new stop above the railway station. The occasion for the tram to make this journey was a visit by officials from Karlsruhe who are visiting Nottingham to acknowledge the increasing important commercial links between the two cities.
During the special trip Citadis 218 was named after Jim Taylor, Nottingham’s former Director of Development, and in doing so will be the second of the Citadis trams to be named this week and the third overall. There will also be a plaque unveiled on the bridge itself with The Oberburgermeister of Karlsruhe, Dr Frank Mentrup, due to do the honours. The bridge is, of course, named the Karlsruhe Friendship Bridge in recognition of the relationship between the two cities.
Cllr Alan Clark, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability, said: “The Karlsruhe Bridge is not only a symbol of the great friendship and growing commercial links between the two cities but also represents a highlight of the NET Phase Two project, both in terms of engineering excellence and of the effective integration of the city’s transport. Karlsruhe is world-renowned for its integrated tram network and Nottingham has benefited from our twin city’s knowledge. Their experience is helping us to create a truly integrated transport system linking tram, train and road travel along with parking, park and ride and cycling facilities.”
The naming of 218 was the third Citadis tram to be adorned with a name following 216 being named Julie Poulter and 217 Carl Froch. Jim Taylor, who died earlier this year, was both a key figure in Nottingham’s links with Karlsruhe and was also a staunch supporter of extending the tram around Nottingham. His widow, Mrs Sue Taylor, commented: “It is a comfort to us to know that Jim’s name will be attached to a tram for years to come. The family is very proud that Jim is being remembered for something so close to his heart. He was a staunch supporter of the tram and he would be very pleased to see things progressing well in Nottingham.”
It remains the plan that all 22 of the Citadis trams will be named and the local community will be asked for suggestions for potential namings as this policy continues.