The Queen’s Medical Centre has s the arrival of its first tram last night (Wednesday) as testing on the new line to Chilwell intensifies.

Initial trials between the ng2 Business Park and what will be the new stop at University Boulevard have been hailed a success, and daytime runs are expected to follow shortly.

A NET Phase Two project spokesman explained: “The extension of overnight testing through the QMC is another demonstration of the progress being made on the project, which will see the QMC become the first hospital in the country to benefit from being served by a tram network.

“The latest test runs have seen trams cross the new Ningbo Friendship Bridge – which spans the A52 and is the largest structure on the expanded network – and travel along the impressive 300-metre-long viaduct through the hospital campus before travelling along University Boulevard.”

The start of testing on another key section of the expanded network is taking place alongside daytime trials on the Clifton line as far as Fairham Brook Bridge in Silverdale and night-time tests to the centre of Clifton.

As well as providing the opportunity for vital testing of tracks, signals and other infrastructure, the extensive testing programme provides the opportunity for people to get used to trams travelling through their community ahead of services opening to the public in the middle of this year.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation at Nottingham City Council, said: “There have been many milestones in this huge undertaking to extend the city’s tram network, but the first overnight tram to test the route as far as the Queen’s Medical Centre is a truly significant moment.

“This is the first modern tram network in the UK to serve a major hospital, and when passenger services begin they will truly transform how patients, staff and visitors can reach the biggest hospital in the region, with services running every 7.5 minutes, 364 days a year. They will be able to ride the tram to the hospital direct from stops along the entire extended tram network, or from the tram interchange at Nottingham Station, or from seven NET park and ride sites.

“Students at the University of Nottingham will benefit greatly, and these tests also mark the first tram crossing over the Ningbo Friendship Bridge, symbolising the city’s increasing educational, commercial and research links with China. The bridge is also one of the biggest engineering feats and one of the most iconic structures of the entire project.”