Today marks an important milestone in nottinghams transport network. After many months of delays and controversy the new tram lines 2,3 finally opened at 6am to much jubilation. Today we will be joining the celebrations and exploring what the new lines have to offer and just some of the amazing parts of nottingham it has now opened up.
We alighted the two bus at upper parliament street and caught our first of many trams at the royal centre. Our first route would be towards totan lane p&r aboard one of NET’S newest fleet of trams.
As expected for its first day of service was filled with shoppers and transport enthusiasts alike all after a taste of nottinghams newest transport link.
Soon we arrived at the first new stop on the line Nottingham station but we will go into that a bit later when we return there later. Now we were on new tracks and heading where no duck has gone before.
Our first point along the line was Gregory street. Although at first glance it seems like a basic commuter stop slapped in the middle of the road short walk back over the canal past the stunning tevethick boat yard and you arrive at the mecca for all tabletop war gamers “warhammer world”
Warhammer world is the Global HQ of games workshop and its vistor centre is the one plave anyone who has ever played warhammer must goto at least once in there life.
Be it to fight on one of the many amazing battle tables or even just to eat at the famouse bugmans bar , Warhammer World is also home to the only forgeworld shop in the world the only other way to purchase there items is online. Of course the icing on the cake at warhammerworld is its stunning gallery of models and epic battle scenes all of which no camra can ever do justice.
Soon we arrived back at the strange island platform of Gregory street and awaited the next toton lane tram. We continued along the line and onto the qmc over the iconic bridge the crosses one of nottinghams most busyest roads and were soon gliding along towards our next port of call university boulevard to our next point of intrest highfeilds park.
Highfeilds park was designed by percy Richard morley horder for sir jesse boot in the early 1920’s and opened in 1923. The park was then handed over to the ciy as gift to the people of the city in 1932.
The park is a stunning example of victorian design and offers a fantastic escapism from modern life and offers the traveller not only a place to relax and inspire but offers many attractions to entertain both young and old including putting , rowing boats , a large childrens park as well as a cafe for refuling your body while its stunning veiws refreash your soul.
Soon we arrived at the other end of the park and ironicly one stop back from where we got off. We were now at the university of nottingham stop and awaited our next tram towards toton lane.
This time we stayed on the tram to the end of line 2 as we meandered though the busy town of beaston soon we came to the collage and the former Barton Busses depot and here the line took a whole new feel long gone was the roads this felt like we traveling not by tram but by train as we glided though the city subburbs towards the end of the line at toton lane.
We arrived at toton lane a very modern sleek looking station surrounded by parking spaces although this is the current end of the line it will be expanded once the HS2 hub opens down the road at toton sidings.
Although it was just designed to be a park and ride stop Toton Lane has a very unique feel to the place with regular bus connections and indeed its own purpose built takeaway café it has more of a cosmopolitan railway station feel then an actual park and ride.
Just a short walk away (not even out the car park short) sits the Japanese water Garden which is home to many small businesses and is well worth a visit a visit and look around. Also just another minutes walk also takes you to the stunning Bardills garden centre.
We travelled the line back towards beeston joined by one of good friends Brandon to Beeston centre and its bus/tram interchange
Beeston suffered badly as a result of the tram works but is still home to some amazing shoping streets offer a banaza of bargins and some amazing street art and is indeed a town worth visiting in its own rights.
We soon arrived at our next tram stop middle street as the rain started to fall and the tram was arriving and continued on our exploration of the new network.
We alighted at the qmc the first hospital to have its own direct tram link which was also based to severial film crews all getting info and filming this momumentus occasion.
The platforms were manned by plenty of volunteers who have dedicated there time to help the new passengers get to where they need quickly and easily around the hospital.
We soon arrived back at Nottingham Station the first station along the line which has been open for a couple of weeks now and is now the most vital link along the network although the biggest irony of this new station is that is built on the old line of the Great central railway which ran from Nottingham victoria to Loughborough , Leicester and eventually London.
We now started our journey along the clifton line and alighted at our first point meadows embankment.
This stop is next to the stunning riverside which we visited in a previous blog and the historic welford toll bridge.
The toll bridge was opened on 16 June 1870 and thankfully stands to this day and is now open to pedestrians and bikes alongside the trams which is where we walked across by foot to our next stop wilford village.
From wilford village we were once again on the old great central line and making good speed as we travelled down the line. As we passed wilford lane we noticed a siding not sure its use mind you.
From here the line leaves the old gcr line as it makes it way into clifton and back onto the city roads.
The trams along this line were a lot let busy then then the toton line so we actually managed to get a seat this time as we made our way though the residential area and towards the end of the line.
We alighted at clifton centre and this town is more like a city suburb then any of the other place’s along the route with its small row of retail units and medical centre there was not much to discover although the rain did hampen our resolve to explore further today so we rejoined the tram and made our way though the residential streets and towards clifton south.
We arrived at the final stop and even though we were less the a minuets walk from clifton it felt as though we were in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing more then empty car park and unused bus stops.
Although you can see the south Nottinghamshire countryside in the distance this is as no frills as you can get for a park and ride and not a place of great intrest unless you are using thempark and ride we were glad to be retuning to the tram and moving back into the city and home.
indeed this is another exciting chapter to nottinghams world class public transport network and it will be of no suprise of this being a success. While the clifton line gives you a taste of the speed it is more of a basic commuter line but for exploring some of the amazing things in nottingham we fully recommend the toton line as at most of the stops there is somthing amazing to be found.
Untill Alan gets round to writing up are other amazing adventures remember to get outdoors and keep exploring.