|Preparing ex-Invercargill trams|
for their new home
If you've been into the central city lately, you'll have seen tracks being restored and overhead wires installed while, behind the scenes, trams are being repainted in readiness.
There have been repeated delays to the return but officials are confident they will be back by mid-October.
Initially the route will run from the top of New Regent St, through Cathedral Junction, across the Square, down to Canterbury Museum and back. Problems accessing parts of Armagh St mean it will be March 2014 at the earliest before the full route is available. Extending it down Oxford Tce through to the Re:Start mall could be done by May next year. It may also be possible to extend the tram route to the Manchester/High/Lichfield Sts corner where business activity is increasing.
As an added attraction, all trams will have screens to show visitors what inner-city spaces looked like before the EQs and what they could look like in the future...while deliberately steering away from showing customers the doom-and-gloom stuff.
Having the trams back would help add life and vitality to the retail core, as well as familiarity and a hint of 'normality'. The council estimates it will spend $1.57 million bringing trams back to the inner city: that'll be money well spent!