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melmerby

West Midlands Metro Tracklaying in Brum

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Why is the blacksmith carrying a roll of soft toilet paper?

 

And why is the bird lady on the left about to be bashed on the head!

 

I remember for years after the trams went, every time a city centre road was dug up, trams tracks would re-appear.

I would expect by now, after all the remodelling there aren't any left to find.

 

Keith

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Do you know, I was thinking exactly the same about the blacksmith - perhaps it was that curry he had the night before.

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I remember walking round the Croydon tram works in 1996 and they had unearthed a fair amount of the old tram track.  Someone had even put one of the old rails onto the concrete base where the new rail was due to be installed. 

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Do you know, I was thinking exactly the same about the blacksmith - perhaps it was that curry he had the night before.

Not in them days it would have bin Pigs Trotters or Stuffed Hearts!

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The tracks are now across Colmore Circus where the road is currently closed.

Seemed to have got the curved track to fit this time unlike the entrance to Bull street where they are still mis-aligned!

(They have been like that for months, whilst they carry on with work elsewhere)

 

Keith

Edited by melmerby

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There is a small section of what appears to be original tram track to the rear of the main Council House in Birmingham. It is about long enough to house a tram car so I wonder if it was ever used to showcase a heritage tram. Does anyone have any information regarding this piece of track? 

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There is a small section of what appears to be original tram track to the rear of the main Council House in Birmingham. It is about long enough to house a tram car so I wonder if it was ever used to showcase a heritage tram. Does anyone have any information regarding this piece of track? 

It was installed when they re-vamped that section of road some years ago. AFAIK it is not left over from the original track that was there.

It is just a piece of nostalagia, rather like the gas lamps they had in the city centre many years after gas was superceded for street lighting.

 

Keith

 

EDIT the last tram to use the original track was sevice 33 to Ladywood on 30 August 1947

Edited by melmerby

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Thursday 24th

Crossover being installed in Stephenson Street

More reinforcing at corner of Waterstones, including some shuttering for concrete.

Some track laid and "finished" alongside the old Lewis's building in Bull Street - even has a tarmac top coat between the rails!

The road crossing at Colmore Circus is well advanced.

 

Something I have noticed is that where there are points, there is only a blade that moves, not the whole grooved bit. There being in effect a fixed, flange check rail instead.

 

Keith

 

 

Spelling corrected

Edited by melmerby

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Having a blade moving within the groove is standard for tramway street track. 

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Thursday 24th

Crossover being installed in Stephenson Street

More reinforcing at corner of Waterstones, including some shuttering for concrete.

Some track layed and "finished" alongside the old Lewis's building in Bull Street - even has a tarmac top coat between the rails!

The road crossing at Colmore Circus is well advanced.

 

Something I have noticed is that where there are points, there is only a blade that moves, not the whole grooved bit. There being in effect a fixed, flange check rail instead.

 

Keith

 

Any chance  of a picture of that point in the near future? The two types I know of are the moving inset just rail head blade and the moving inset full girder rail blade. .

 

Andy

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Any chance  of a picture of that point in the near future? The two types I know of are the moving inset just rail head blade and the moving inset full girder rail blade. .

 

Andy

I'll have to remember to take a camera with me. My 'phone doesn't have a camera! (It's ancient)

 

Keith

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Some pictures of progress so far, taken last Thursday.

 

Close up of point in Bull Street:

post-6208-0-28743800-1399825610_thumb.jpg

 

Looking from Bull street into Colmore Circus:

 

post-6208-0-24718400-1399825675_thumb.jpg

 

The new road crossing in Colmore Circus:

(Is this the first time traffic has crossed proper tram track in Birmingham since the 3'6" system's demise?)

 

post-6208-0-62237900-1399825790_thumb.jpg

 

Re-inforcing the Waterstones corner:

 

post-6208-0-46942900-1399825881_thumb.jpg

 

View along Stephenson St. showing big spidy thing used for concrete pouring and roughly laid crossover further along, outside New St. Station:

 

post-6208-0-07014100-1399826012_thumb.jpg

 

There is also some progress getting the curved track in Bull Sreet aligned properly. I couldn't get close enough for a picture as the pavement that side is now closed off.

 

Keith

 

 

 

 

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Look like the points still need some setting up. There appears to be double moving points, but they are going both ways in the picture. :O

 

Andy

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Good to see that they've finished wrapping New Street in silver foil too  :O

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Some pictures of progress so far, taken last Thursday.

 

Close up of point in Bull Street:

post-6208-0-28743800-1399825610_thumb.jp

 

That's a great pic. Hi-tech with wheelbarrow -- has any wheeled vehicle changed less since Mr Stephenson used one hereabouts?

 

Martin.

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Look like the points still need some setting up. There appears to be double moving points, but they are going both ways in the picture. :O

 

Andy

They have been "messing around" with this crossover and the adjacent track for months.

I thought they might have set it up when the point motor was fitted.

 

As mentioned previously the pre-curved rail sections as the track goes through the "S" bend between Colmore Circus and Bull St.didn't line up, although they seemed to be rectifying that last Thursday.

 

Keith

Edited by melmerby

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That's a great pic. Hi-tech with wheelbarrow -- has any wheeled vehicle changed less since Mr Stephenson used one hereabouts?

 

Martin.

Pedantically (is that a word?) It's more likely to Mr Brunel there as it is close to Snow Hill!

 

Keith

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That's a great pic. Hi-tech with wheelbarrow -- has any wheeled vehicle changed less since Mr Stephenson used one hereabouts?

 

Martin.

 

'

Well they eventually stopped pulling them straight up the sides of under construction railway embankments and cuttings with ropes. In that application they morphed into today's mobile excavators.

 

Andy

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A few more picture of the progress so far.

 

Looking towards Hockley from Snow Hill where the tracks will be slewed over to the right:

(The ground there was extremely overgrown a few years ago but has been cleared, once the tram tracks are moved the platform where the tram is passing will be returned to Network Rail.)
post-6208-0-80061600-1400194949_thumb.jpg

 

The new bridge over Gt. Charles St. which replaces the one removed years ago:

 

post-6208-0-93856700-1400194998_thumb.jpg

 

The trough, currently grassed over, where the tracks will run from Colmore Circus to the new bridge:

(Yes the building does lean!)

 

post-6208-0-73366200-1400195199_thumb.jpg

 

Looking into Colmore Circus with the new road crossing:

(The current terminus can be seen below)

 

post-6208-0-93946300-1400195334_thumb.jpg

 

A couple of stretches of concrete track base have now appeared in Corporation Street:

 

post-6208-0-73824200-1400195401_thumb.jpg

post-6208-0-67777800-1400195416_thumb.jpg

 

And a somewhat out of focus shot to show that the curved track still hasn't been sorted:

 

post-6208-0-85513800-1400195484_thumb.jpg

 

I notice that the short piece of finished track in Bull St. (alongside the old Lewis's building) was being really tarted up today. I wonder whether it is going to be used to display one of the new trams?

 

Keith

Edited by melmerby
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Mel,

A Brummie,I left Birmingham in 1972, sadly, returning on few occasions. Snow Hill was derelict at that time. It's amazing the transformation that has happened over the intervening years.

I didn't know that the Gt.Charles St. Bridge had gone, but good to see one back. Is that the remains of Taylor & Challen, so prominent in 1950's/60's pictures of Snow Hill, I can see in  the first picture?

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Mel,

A Brummie,I left Birmingham in 1972, sadly, returning on few occasions. Snow Hill was derelict at that time. It's amazing the transformation that has happened over the intervening years.

I didn't know that the Gt.Charles St. Bridge had gone, but good to see one back. Is that the remains of Taylor & Challen, so prominent in 1950's/60's pictures of Snow Hill, I can see in  the first picture?

The span that has been put back (a new structure on old abutments) was the only one taken down I believe. Presumably the belief was that it would never be needed although the trackbed from Birmingham to Wolves was protected after the final closure in 1972.

The building may well be Taylor and Challen although the eaves are not quite the same. e.g.

 

http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/gwr/gwrbsh1271.htm

 

Keith

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Great pictures. I believe that Platform 4 will return to Network Rail but won't be reinstated for some time, at least not until the Rowley Regis turn back facility is put in situ as far as I am aware. 

Interestingly there will be a new stop positioned at about where the tram is pictured running into Snow Hill. The new stop will be called St Chads and will replace the current Snow Hill stop. 

 

I also got some pictures this week but I just need to upload them. Hopefully I will get around to doing that tomorrow. 

 

I noted that on the New Street/Corporation Street road junction the Council are installing neighbourhood heating conduits which is interesting. Initially I thought they were doing some mopping up of the stat undertaker apparatus...

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Great pictures. I believe that Platform 4 will return to Network Rail but won't be reinstated for some time, at least not until the Rowley Regis turn back facility is put in situ as far as I am aware. 

Interestingly there will be a new stop positioned at about where the tram is pictured running into Snow Hill. The new stop will be called St Chads and will replace the current Snow Hill stop. 

 

I also got some pictures this week but I just need to upload them. Hopefully I will get around to doing that tomorrow. 

 

I noted that on the New Street/Corporation Street road junction the Council are installing neighbourhood heating conduits which is interesting. Initially I thought they were doing some mopping up of the stat undertaker apparatus...

Interestingly the gaunt skeleton of the unfinished office block, consisting of the concrete stair and lift towers, on the corner of Gt. Charles St. and St. Chads Circus has been cleared to produce this park area which seems to be totally inaccessible at the moment!:

 

post-6208-0-17011500-1400281387_thumb.jpg

 

Keith

 

EDIT: Like the big game roaming on it!

I tried to post a google maps view of the site as it was but all I get is a global shot! It always used to work.

Edited by melmerby
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Thats an interesting looking park. I hand't seen it but I will be walking passed it on Monday morning. The blocks that were going in there were to be Birmingham's first 5* hotel and an apartment block. No doubt the recession has put these plans on hold or they won't happen. 

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Thats an interesting looking park. I hand't seen it but I will be walking passed it on Monday morning. The blocks that were going in there were to be Birmingham's first 5* hotel and an apartment block. No doubt the recession has put these plans on hold or they won't happen. 

It would have been a small hotel.

It's not a particularly large patch of ground, having a smaller footprint than either of the office blocks built next to it!

 

I assumed it was to be the third office block but shaped to take account of the corner site.

 

Keith

Edited by melmerby

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