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REALLY TRAM SideTracked - Short Heath & Guided Bus

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Hidden : 09/14/2016
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

You are looking for a magnetic nano

Really Tram SideTracked -
Short Heath Tram and Guided Busway terminus

Although this location appears today to be a normal road junction at the end of an urban dual carriageway, during the 20th century it was the location of two interesting public transport systems. Birmingham tramways, a 3' 6" gauge network of tramlines, had a branch which terminated here until 1953, running down the central reservation of Streetly Road. The line was then lifted, but in the 1980s an experimental guided busway was laid on the trackbed of the old tramway. This did not last long, and no signs of it now exist.

These three photos show the site with trams, the guided busway and the present day:-

Birmingham tram in April 1953, around three months before closure.
(Photo by Henry Priestley, published in Trams of Southern Britain by Colin Garrett)

Birmingham Corporation Tramways:

In the first half of the 20th century, a network of tramways operated in the Birmingham area. The first line opened in 1904, and at its peak in around 1930 the routes stretched for over 80 miles, with branches reaching to Erdington, Rubery and Dudley. After 1930 the network declined, and the last routes, including the branch to Short Heath, closed on 4th July 1953. Two tramcars still survive in local museums.

Birmingham Guided Busway, mid 1980s
(Photo © Simon Smiler, from this website, used with kind permission)

Tracline 65:

In 1984, this experimental system was opened, the first guided busway in the UK. Buses ran on normal roads as far as Streetly Road, then diverted on to a concrete bus lane, with raised kerbs. Guide wheels on the side of the bus ran on the edge of the busway, and automatically steered the bus. Bus deregulation led to the experiment being abandoned in 1987, and the buses were converted to normal operation, with the busway being removed and landscaped as a normal central reservation once more. One bus still survives in a local transport museum.

The same site in September 2016.

Present day:

The area at the former tram terminus between the two carriageways is now tarmacked, and used for parking for local shops. Further down the former trackbed of the tram and guided busway has been landscaped with grass and trees.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Gvr lbhe ynprf ng gur mvt-mnt

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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