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Q&A: Everything you need to know about Metro trams in Birmingham

With the Grand Central, John Lewis and New Street openings out of the way, the launch of the Metro from New Street to Snow Hill station is next on the agenda for the city

Work progressing on the Midland Metro tram line outside of House of Fraser last summer

The age of the tram is nearly upon us in Birmingham.

With the Grand Central, John Lewis and New Street openings out of the way, the launch of the Metro from New Street to Snow Hill station is next on the agenda for the city.

It will be the first time in decades that trams have travelled through the city centre and mark the beginning of a host of infrastructure work that will see the Metro head to Centenary Square, Digbeth and Five Ways.

Indeed, it has been so long you could be forgiven for not knowing what to expect, so here is all you need to know.

When will trams be running through the city centre?

By the end of the year. The exact date will depend on how testing goes, but presently there are none scheduled for November.

How many trams will be in operation at any one time?

Fourteen or 15, depending on time of day.

How many trams will there be?

A total of 21. About £40 million has been invested in a fleet of hi-tech trams made in Spain.

How long will you have to wait for the next one to come along?

Six minutes at peak times, between eight and 15 minutes at other times.

How long will it take to go from New Street to Snow Hill?

The route, from Stephenson Street, to Corporation Street, to Bull Street and on to Snow Hill, takes five minutes.

How many people fit on each tram?

The trams hold a total of 208 people.

Do the trams have wi fi?

Not currently but it is being worked on.

How many new tram drivers are there?

Eight new drivers have been taken on as a result of the city centre extension.

When can we expect the Centenary Square leg to start and finish?

Initial work has already started preparing the groundwork. Main work starts on summer 2016 and it will be a public service by early 2019.

When will work start on the east line going to HS2?

Work will begin in 2018.

When will the Metro go to Five Ways?

That is scheduled for 2021.

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