Track and Street Furniture

Trams require track and overhead power cables to operate. When trams cease to operate, it may take many years before these visible signs finally disappear.
At first the power cables will be taken down, but the traction poles which carried them may be left in place. They are more difficult to remove and can often converted for other uses such as street lighting. In this way, it is still sometimes possible to find tramway traction poles by the side of former tram routes.
Tram stop plates can also be reused. In Coventry, they were the same shape as bus stop plates. It was a simple and cost-effective job to take them down, repaint them as bus stops and put them up again elsewhere. It was impossible to tell, except if the paint began to peel off to reveal the older wording underneath!
Tram tracks are more troublesome to remove than traction poles. They were often laid in the centre of roadways and embedded some way down. It was often easier just to tarmac over the track. Very often, redundant tramtrack only comes to light many years after it was last used, as a result of a major road project. In Coventry, this was the case on several occasions from the 1960's right through to the early 1980's.
The construction of the inner ring road unearthed major trackworks at the junction of Jesson Street (now gone), Hales Street and Ford Street. This is approximately where Hales Street meet the slip road from the ring road flyover. Other such discoveries have occured in Queens Road, Warwick Road outside 'The Litten Tree' (formerly 'Intershop' and before that 'Benleys'), by the Coventry Theatre and outside the old Fire Station in Hales Street. In some cases, the track was removed as part of the road works whilst on other occasions, it was covered over again when the road was resurfaced.

This is possibly a redundant
       traction pole This green painted column at the junction of Stoney Stanton Road and Cross Road is possibly a redundant traction pole. No photgraph could be found of a tram at this point to confirm it's use. However, other photographs of Coventry trams show traction poles similar in appearance to this. It is certainly the correct colour as traction poles were painted green from the 1930's.

This is a rosette As well as traction poles, overhead power cables were also carried on span wires running between buildings on either side of the tramway. They were attached by means of cast iron rosettes. These may also remain in place for many years as their removal for scrap may not be cost effective. However, in Coventry where they were mainly used in the centre, only one is known to remain. This is because the wartime blitz and postwar redevelopment have swept away many of the buildings to which they were attached.

Re-used tramstop The bus stop plate at the top of this picture was formerly a tram stop. It is just possible to make out the wording 'CARS STOP HERE BY REQUEST'. It was still in used at Gosford Green in the early 1970's. The plate was removed shortly afterwards. All bus and trams stop plates were used by Coventry Corporation were round until the 1960's. No Coventry bus stop plates of any description are believed to still be in use.

Old tram track 1 These two pictures show the road before resurfacing outside the old Fire Station in Hales Street during October 1983. This tram track was subsequently covered over again. Old tram track 2

These pictures show the same track uncovered again during work on the Phoenix Project during summer 2002. Some of the track has now been removed and the rest may never be seen again. Old tram track 3 Old tram track 4


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