Another rebranding exercise on a British light rail fleet is now imminent with the change of operating ownership of the West Midlands line between Birmingham Grand Central terminus (aka New Street) and Wolverhampton. The incongruous flamboyant swish pink grey and silver styling is about to be swept away with a more sombre all over blue
reminiscent of Walsall's municipal fleet.
Birmingham tram terminus outside 'Grand Central' aka New Street Station . A class act.
West Midlands Metro swish branding about to be replaced. The restaurant and food floor is amazing inside.
A visit this weekend to Birmingham afforded chance to sample the on-street line through the city's commercial district and out past the former Snow Hill terminus on to the reserved tracks. The trams were distinctly quiet and smooth running on the street tracks whilst the passenger facilities were everything that Blackpool's are not. Real time 'next tram arriving for ' signage is accompanied by audio announcements for vision impaired passengers. Clean shelter structures, recently attended to, were provided with adequate seating and smart signage.
Blackpool Councll should be ashamed of itself with the state of its light rail infrastructure. Tram poles remain neglected with fading paint from when they were first erected a decade past. Shelters are filthy and seating is of the prison cell variety. About the only investment would seem to be present is the regular updating of commercial poster advertising in the relevant panels - taken care of by outside contractors naturally.
West Midlands shows how these public assets should be professionally managed and cared for - after all they are expressly for the town's residents year round and seasonal visitors. New tram poles have been just erected and smartly painted - by the Illuminations and Lighting team - at Gynn Square roundabout as a new design feature on this otherwise barren site. Perhaps the tram pole maintenance might be turned over to a workforce capable of actually giving attention to the job they are responsible for. West Midlands - nine out of ten for style and effort, Blackpool - nul points.
suburban tram stop seating - clean, inviting and clean glazing, etc. etc.
Birmingham Centre - Corporation Street Tram Stop - note the colour, the cleanliness, the bright signage and clean seating (and the style).
Real time transport information working ! Blackpool has a lot of catching up to do and its not the fault of Blackpool Transport Services.