Nottingham tram extension sees first tests

Tram crossing bridge Officials said the crossing of the bridge marked a milestone in the tram extension project

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The first trams have begun to run on Nottingham's new tram routes as full testing gets under way.

The lines, running to Chilwell and Beeston, have been under construction since early 2012 and are expected to cost £570m.

Night testing has now started with a tram crossing over the bridge above the main line train station.

Contractors said daytime testing would begin "within weeks", with a view to full opening in early 2015.

The extension will more than double the size of Nottingham's tram network, with 17.5km of new track and 28 new tram stops.

But the project has been criticised for disrupting shops and traffic and the opening has been delayed from an original date of this December.

The 104-metre-long, 14.5-metre-wide, 1,100-tonne train station bridge was inched into position in May 2013.

Jane Urquhart, Nottingham City Council's Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, said: "This marks another key milestone in the NET Phase Two project to double the size of Nottingham's tram network.

"People can now enjoy the sight of the new trams as they pass over Nottingham Station bridge and into The Meadows for the very first time."

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