The final fixing on the last piece of track has been fastened into place on Nottingham’s 17.5km tram network expansion

In total, more than 3,800 sections of rail, weighing over 2,100 tonnes and containing around 71,000 fastenings, have been used on the two new lines that will see services extended to Chilwell and Clifton.

Around 14,200m3 of concrete – enough to fill five-and-a-half Olympic sized swimming pools – has also been used, along with 35,000 tonnes of ballast, the equivalent weight of over 100 Jumbo Jets.

The final piece of track was secured in place on the Clifton line just a fortnight after track-laying in Chilwell was completed. Now testing and commissioning on both routes is set to step up a gear.

Phil Hewitt, Chief Executive of NET concessionaire Tramlink Nottingham, explained: “The completion of track-laying is another landmark achievement for the NET Phase Two project and reflects the skill and dedication of the construction teams involved – including many people recruited from Nottingham and surrounding areas.

“The work to date – including the diversion and upgrading of buried pipes and cables – has been difficult and complex but we can now look forward to seeing trams being tested on the new sections of track now this has been finished.

“Before they can carry passengers, the lines have to pass extensive safety and performance tests, and this process includes examining all the signalling and communications systems as well as the new tracks and infrastructure.”

During a special event to mark the completion of track-laying at what will be a new park and ride facility in Clifton, Mr Hewitt was joined by Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation at Nottingham City Council.

“We have had many big moments in this huge project to more than double the size of Nottingham’s tram network, but this one is very significant,” Cllr Urquhart said.

“The final clip going onto the track on the new line to Clifton means that the installation of the rails is now complete for the entire network. Finishing works remain and we know that Clifton residents and businesses have had to endure significant disruption, but this does mean we can look forward to highway works being completed very soon and tram testing in Clifton early in the New Year.”