Midland Metro has been unable to find a buyer for its original fleet of trams after putting them up for sale.
Thirteen of the Ansaldo 69 trams will now be sold for £12,000 for scrap in a move that has been described as “the best return for the council tax payer” – but two have been saved.
The two survivors are Tram 11, which was repainted in the old Birmingham Corporation colours in 2013 to mark the 60th anniversary of the final tram running in the city and will go to Birmingham Museum, and Tram 7, which has been donated to UK Tram, the British tram industry body.
Tram 11 is named after councillor Theresa Stewart, who was a member of the West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority and played a leading role in persuading the government of the early 1990s to give the go-ahead for the Midland Metro line.
She said: “I remember very well the meetings in parliament and the campaign to get permission to open the Metro so I am glad that one of the original trams is to be kept for posterity, they are an important part of the story of public transport in this region.
“When you look at the success of the Midland Metro today it just shows how the campaign to bring back trams was right.”
The T69 trams were introduced when the Midland Metro line opened between Birmingham Snow Hill station and Wolverhampton city centre in 1998.
However they were phased out following the introduction in 2014 of the Urbos 3 trams now in use on the network, and have been in storage at a depot in Long Marston, Warwickshire, ever since.