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Nottingham's first new tram unveiled

On-track and on schedule, the first of Nottingham's new trams number 201 - following on from number 200 which was the last tram to run in Nottingham 65 years ago - rolled off the production line and onto the test track today (Tuesday, August 13) where it was greeted by Minister for Transport John Spellar.

The tram is the first of a fleet of 15 new vehicles being built by Bombardier Transportation at its factory in Litchchurch Lane, Derby, as part the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) project, which will take to the city's streets in November 2003.

The trams finished in the NET colours of green, silver and white, will have air conditioning, heating and large windows, and will comfortably carry up to 200 passengers at a time, with 62 seats and two wheelchair points. They will begin to arrive at the NET depot in Nottingham this autumn and later will start to be tested on the system so that they are ready for public services in November next year.

Minister for Transport John Spellar officially launched the tram before stepping aboard to ride it for himself along the factory's test track.

Congratulating the project on its success so far, he said:

"An estimated 11 million passengers are expected to use the NET each year and I am pleased that I could be one of the first.

"Developing sustainable transport links is vital in tackling increasing problems of pollution and congestion on our cities' streets and also getting workers to Nottingham's growing city centre.

"This project will, not only help encourage drivers out of their cars but, also act as a catalyst for the regeneration of areas of Nottingham most in need, including those areas of high unemployment being targeted by the New Deal for Communities (NDC)."

The 14km network for phase one of the NET is currently under construction and on schedule and will run between Hucknall in north Nottingham and Nottingham Railway Station, crossing the city centre.

13 August 2002


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