Signs of progress are cropping up all over the city centre as Midland Metro dreams become reality – but you’d need a long memory to recall trams running through our streets.
With trams set to be travelling up and down Corporation Street, Bull Street and Stephenson Street later this year, going to Centenary Square by 2017, urban mobility will take a step in the right direction.
It seems like a step into the unknown – but there were hundreds of trams flooding the city in the early 20th century, as shown in the gallery above.
A total of 843 trams were operating at any one time between 1904-53, as highlighted by historian Eric Armstrong’s work Seeing Birmingham By Tram.
There were dozens of routes in operation before the Second World War, operated by Birmingham Corporation Tramways.
In all, the city had 20 depots, 45 main routes and a total route length of 80.5 miles.
So while the £127 million scheme to extend the route later this year – as well as millions more to take it to Moor Street, Curzon Street, Fazeley Street and Adderley Street by 2021 – are welcome progress, we’re still some way behind the Edwardians.