Ozzy Osborne makes tracks to Birmingham for tram naming

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Rock icon Ozzy Osborne is to get star billing in his native Birmingham by having a Midland Metro tram named after him.

The city’s own Prince of Darkness will be in town to meet the tram bearing his name this Thursday May 26.

The Aston-born frontman of legendary Birmingham band Black Sabbath will be at the new Corporation Street stop at 11am.

Ozzy said: “It’s a great honour to have a new tram named after me, I’m proud to be a Brummie and this means so much.”

On-street driver training between Bull Street and the Stephenson Street stop outside New Street station began today (May 23) following successful work over the weekend to correct minor alignment problems on some sections of the track.

Training is scheduled to take seven days and passenger services will begin once this is successfully completed.

In further good news for the network the Department for Transport has announced it has given formal approval for the extension from New Street to Centenary Square via Victoria Square. This is scheduled for completion in 2019.

The tram-naming ceremony has been organised by Centro, the delivery arm of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (ITA).

The extension to New Street is part of a £128 million project that has also seen the purchase of a brand new 21-strong fleet of Urbos 3 trams, a refurbished depot at Wednesbury and a new stop at Snow Hill station.

Trams returned to the streets of Birmingham city centre for the first time in more than 60 years last December when the Metro started running to the new stop in Bull Street.

The previous month saw Her Majesty the Queen visit the stop and name one of the new trams after former Centro chairman Cllr Angus Adams, who died in 2012 and was a key figure in driving through the extension plans.

In April this year test runs began to New Street from Bull Street.

Now testing is complete, Midland Metro drivers have begun on-street training having first used the computerised route simulator at the Wednesbury depot.

The extension is expected to boost the West Midlands economy by more than £50 million a year and create 1,300 new jobs.

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