Tumble down the rabbit hole with Time Travel Tram’s 360 immersive mobile experience this summer to experience the people and places that moulded the West Midlands into the vibrant and industrious place it is today.


Travel 300million years in 3 minutes through forests, fire and factories.

A proud tradition of fighting for freedom but which chains are there left to break and which chains are there left to make?

Escape into the weird and wonderful pastimes of the West Midland’s industrious inhabitants.

A century of Soho Road is reimagined in a celebration of food, colour and community.

The frolics and fashion of the kids of the past uncovered by the youth of the present.

Time Travel Tram is a 360 immersive mobile experience like no other. Jump aboard any West Midlands Metro tram and plug into a time travel experience using your smartphone and headphones.

Using cutting edge technology we have transformed an everyday tram journey into an incredible shared immersive experience.

Tumble down our time vortex by scanning a QR code on board the tram and travel into fantastical worlds populated by characters of West Midlands past. Time Travel Tram combines archive film, photographs and objects with mesmerising 3D generated worlds and original soundtrack compositions from local artists to catapult living history into the 21st century.

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In partnership with


Produced and Directed by: Mark Atkin, Harmeet Chagger-Khan, Tom Millen

Production Assistant: Sophie Crockett

Featuring Original Sound Commissions by: Auden Allen, Jeremy Clay, Simon Duggal, Bobbie Jane Gardner, Jasmine Gardosi, Alex McCarthy, Richard Shrewsbury

Audio Engineer: Niccolo Conti

Unreal Development by Cooperative Innovations Ltd: Simon Barratt - CEO / Tool Development, Lewis Bibby - Technical Designer/Lead Developer, Fran Boot - Technical Designer, Chris Clemes - 3D Artist, Emma Cooper - Project Lead, Cat Forsyth - 3D Generalist, Brian Marshall - CTO / Development, Isaac Page - Producer

Photogrammetry Editor: Antonio Roberts Footage

Stabilisation: Annette Bowery

Archive Partners: Media Archive for Central England at University of Lincoln, BFI National Archive, Black Country Living Museum, Sandwell Libraries and Archives

Engagement Partners: Creative Black Country, Flatpack Projects, Beatfreeks, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as part of Birmingham City University, Birmingham Music Archive

Installation Build: A.P.Tech, CDI World, Code 14 Fabrications

Design and Branding: Studio Miko

Press & Marketing: Together Films

Trailer Animation and Editor: Darren Chouings

Special Thanks to: Louisa Davies, Sophie Allison, Elizabeth Cole, Oliver Kibblewhite, Toby Coffey, Darren Perry, TK Hay, Mark Davies at Chance Heritage Trust, Sathnam Singh at The Red Lion, Beera at The Red Cow, Jinder at The Prince of Wales, Matthew Jarman & Alex Benney, Martin Jones Photography - Zulu Dawn Archive, Jagdish Patel, Steven Cartwright Glass Designs, Derek Bishton, Studio Canal, Mrs L Derrick at Aston Manor Academy, Mrs K Whitehouse at St Michael's C of E School.

Contributors/Participants: Yr 9 students at Aston Manor Academy. Yr 9 Students at St Michael's C of E School. Ray Drury former Chief Engineer at Chance’s Glass. Nanette former employee at Chance’s Glass. Jane Feltbower. Mike Warner, Former General Manager at JHL Aluminium Factory. Michelle, Alex, TP and Emma from the Birmingham Swifts LGBT Runners Group. Minashe, Sipho,Sikundar, Chantelle, Elliot, Kurren, Raza & Ryan from the poets workshop. Swaran, Rama, Gagan & Brij from Arya Samaj. John, Carla, Patrick, Kulbinder, Kieran, Michael & James from Flatpack’s pop up cinema workshops.

Surfing Light Beams and Crossover Labs were originally commissioned to create an immersive experience that would turn the front carriage of a tram into a giant VR headset by using specially modified transparent LCD screens that synced to the real world using GPS and was created in Unreal Engine by a team of developers, coders and animators using the same process used to create VR and games.

This was put on hold when cracks were found in the bodywork of some of the trams and we are now unable to proceed with the project as originally planned. Here is a statement from West Midlands Metro:

“Time Travel Tram was put on hold following the suspension of tram services in March and since then West Midlands Metro has been fully focussed on repairing the trams and restoring services to customers. Although it was expected that work on the project would resume when trams returned to service, a subsequent review of the completed work to replace vehicle body panels has found that the installation of any additional equipment may compromise the integrity of these complex repairs. As a result, we are now unable to proceed with the project as originally planned, but are committed to delivering an adapted experience which will enable travellers to access the installation’s visual content via a personal mobile device. We understand the disappointment this may cause but our overriding priority is to maintain a safe and reliable service for customers, including visitors to the Commonwealth Games.”