Final touches being applied to long-awaited extension.
Midland Metro services into Birmingham city centre will have temporary changes over the next few weekends for final work to extend the line to Grand Central.
Centro and contractor Balfour Beatty have scheduled the work for Sundays and Bank Holidays to minimise disruption to passengers.
The Bull St terminus will be closed, affecting services on Sunday 13th March, Sunday 20th March and Friday 25th-Monday 28th March – Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
On Sunday 13th and Sunday 20th March, trams into Birmingham from Wolverhampton St George’s will stop at St Paul’s and passengers can continue their journey by bus. Over the Easter weekend, Friday 25th-Monday 28th March, the service will operate between Wolverhampton St George’s and Snow Hill. On Sundays 13th and 20th March, engineers will be working on the new Snow Hill stop so it can open temporarily for passengers to use during the Easter weekend.
The Easter weekend will see works taking place along the whole route to the overhead electrical cables, points, trackside equipment and paving, ready for testing at the New Street end on 23st April. Once that testing is completed, driver training can begin with a view to opening to passengers in May.
Trams returned to the streets of Birmingham for the first time in more than 60 years in December when the Midland Metro started running to a new stop in Bull Street. The £128 million project, which includes a fleet of 21 new trams and a new maintenance depot at Wednesbury, is expected to boost the West Midlands economy by more than £50 million a year and create 1,300 new jobs.
Meanwhile work has already begun to extend the route on from New Street Station to Centenary Square with services expected to start running in 2019. Funding has also been earmarked to take trams further along Broad Street, past Five Ways and on to Edgbaston.
The route of another extension through Digbeth has also been finalised, running from Bull Street via Albert Street and on to the forthcoming HS2 high speed rail station at Curzon Street. From there it would go along New Canal Street and Meriden Street into High Street Deritend, stopping at Digbeth Coach Station and the Custard Factory. It is anticipated the line could be open by 2023.
More details are available at www.networkwestmidlands.com/ways-to-travel/tram/engineering-works/.