off the production line and onto the test track where it was greeted
by minister for transport John Spellar.
Bombardier Transportation at its factory in Litchchurch Lane, Derby,
as part the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) project, which will take
to the city's streets in November 2003.
Minister for transport John Spellar officially launched the tram
before stepping aboard to ride it for himself along the factory's
Congratulating the project on its success so far, he said:
'An estimated 11 million passengers are expected to use the NET each
year and I am pleased that I could be one of the first.
'Developing sustainable transport links is vital in tackling
increasing problems of pollution and congestion on our cities'
streets and also getting workers to Nottingham's growing city centre.
'This project will not only help encourage drivers out of their cars,
but also act as a catalyst for the regeneration of areas of
Nottingham most in need, including those areas of high unemployment
being targeted by the New Deal for Communities (NDC).'
The 14km network for phase one of the NET is currently under
construction and on schedule and will run between Hucknall in north
Nottingham and Nottingham Railway Station, crossing the city centre.
On time and on budget, the£180m project has been achieved through
Nottingham's City Council working in partnership with private
consortia the Arrow- light Rail Group, which includes rail-builder
Bombardier, through a private finance initiative (PFI).