17 October 2020

This tram seems to be a bit lost?

A very interesting email arrived from Mark Bailey who has supplied some photos of something a bit out of place…

There were bizarre goings on this afternoon when Manadon roundabout was blocked by a tram!  Or more precisely one of the low loaders transporting the tram in two sections appeared to have broken down.  Just wondering if you have any idea why a West Midlands Metro tram (or any tram for that matter) would be in Plymouth?

It was a CAF Urbos 3 (no. 37, "Ozzy Osbourne") built in 2015, and the newest in the fleet.   Like the others in the batch it was subsequently fitted with rechargeable batteries to allow running on line extensions that don't have overhead wiring.  But are there any stretches of suitable gauge track down here for it to be demonstrated on?  

I grabbed a few photos on my phone (attached), taken around 3.15pm.  I'm very intrigued to know!

Mark Bailey.

I must admit I am equally intrigued! Anyone know anything?

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  1. West Midlands Metro 37 returns to Spain
    Posted on Saturday 17 October 2020 by Gareth Prior
    The last built of the original 21 Urbos3 trams for West Midlands Metro has returned to Spain for repairs. 37 – named Ozzy Osbourne – departed Wednesbury Depot on Friday 16th October to make the long trip back to Spain via Plymouth where it would be loaded on the ferry.

    Its not known what the problem with 37 is but it has been out of service for the past few months and after inspection of the tram it was decided that in order to complete the repairs it would be best to send it back to the manufacturer. Before the tram departed it had been stripped internally with most of the seating and panelling removed. Whether this was in an attempt to repair it or to investigate the problem is unknown. It is believed that the tram will need some welding work as part of the repair.

    With a slightly reduced timetable in operation on the West Midlands Metro the departure of 37 shouldn’t cause too many problems for now and with any luck the repairs can be completed fairly quickly.

    In leaving Wednesbury, 37 becomes the second of the class to have returned to mainland Europe following on from 18 which had its batteries fitted at the CAF facility in 2017. Of note, the previous Urbos3 which needed external works remained in the UK when 26 was sent to Wolverton Works. It spent six months there in 2017/18 but ended up being out of service for a full two years. Let’s hope that 37’s absence from service isn’t as long!


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  3. The ferry to Spain is still running, leaving Plymouth on a Sunday afternoon, and back north overnight Monday arriving in Plymouth on Tuesday lunchtime. The last crossing this year is next Sunday (25th), with 2021 crossings starting next March.

  4. I saw this and it looked like the back one had come off its holding.

  5. Peter, So did they miss their ferry ?

  6. Petras409. Presumably not. The pics were taken last Saturday; the ferry would have left the next day. But I can't work out why the tram appears to be coming around the Manadon roundabout. Did it come off the A38 and then miss the turning to go down Outland Road?

  7. It was actually Friday afternoon so plenty of time

  8. WEST MIDLANDS METRO is operating a normal timetable of every 4 to 7 mins and every 15 mins off peak and is operating the service level which would be normally expected at this time of year supported by finance package secured by WMCA MAYOR ANDY STREET.


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