Author Topic: West Midlands Trams Happenings 2021  (Read 665 times)

Offline Coast_Hopper

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West Midlands Trams Happenings 2021
« on: July 06, 2021, 12:00:52 PM »

West Midlands Metro suspends ALL 21 trams 'until further notice' after fault found

West Midlands Metro said all 21 trams have been taken out of service after a fault was discovered

09:05, 11 JUN 2021UPDATED12:42, 11 JUN 2021

All tram services have been suspended until further notice after a fault was discovered.

West Metro Midland s have withdrawn the fleet of 21 trams from use on Friday (June 11) after the manufacturer identified an urgent issue.

The transport firm said they did not take the decision lightly and will be working with the manufacturer to resolve the fault as quickly as they can.

Passengers are being transferred on to buses in the meantime.

A West Metro Midlands statement read: “We are sorry that there will be no Metro services from 11 June until further notice.

“We have been informed by the vehicle manufacturer that they have identified a fault which is affecting some of our trams.

“As a precautionary measure, we have taken the decision to remove all 21 trams from service until all trams have been inspected.

“We are working alongside the manufacturer, CAF, to restore services as quickly as possible.”

Metro tickets and passes will be valid on the alternative modes of transport detailed below:

National Express bus service 74 between West Bromwich and Birmingham

National Express bus service 79 between Wolverhampton and West Bromwich

West Midlands Railway and Avanti train services between Wolverhampton and Birmingham

The statement added: “We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused.

“This decision has not been taken lightly.

“Please be assured that every option has been fully considered to avoid suspending the service.”


Midland Metro commuter service to resume with daily inspections after safety alert
Some trams will remain out of action after the entre fleet was taken out of service last week

ByJames Cartledge
20:25, 14 JUN 2021UPDATED20:27, 14 JUN 2021

Midland Metro services are to resume - but with some trams still out of action after the entire fleet was halted in a safety alert.

Wolverhampton to Birmingham journeys will return from Tuesday, June 15 - four days after the network ground to a halt over a fault flagged up by its tram manufacturer.

Trams will shuttle between Wolverhampton St George's and Birmingham's Bull Street at ten-minute intervals.

Midland Metro Ltd said it had identified which of its Urbos 3 fleet could be safely returned to service immediately - with daily inspections.

But it went on: "The remainder of the trams require repairs to the fault and this work has already commenced.

"The fleet is already subject to a rigorous planned and preventative maintenance regime that ensures the safety and reliability of the service. As an additional precautionary measure, each tram in service will undergo an additional daily inspection."

Midland Metro said: "We will increase capacity and frequency as more trams are confirmed as safe to operate."

The leader of Birmingham City Council's Conservative group, Coun Robert Alden, had called for a pause in the new clean air zone ( CAZ) charging until the Metro wasback up and running.

He said last week: "This latest news just compounds the difficulties local businesses and workers are going to face from Labour’s travel tax.

“If people cannot travel into the city centre on one of the key pieces of public transport and are going to face a charge of £8 a day to use their car then it is simply going to punish those who have to travel for work and put off those people who would otherwise spend their money with retail and hospitality businesses struggling to rebound from the COVID pandemic.”

« Last Edit: July 06, 2021, 12:21:38 PM by Coast_Hopper »

Offline Coast_Hopper

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Re: West Midlands Trams Happenings 2021
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2021, 12:13:27 PM »

West Midlands Metro rails on Corporation Street to be replaced after five years

Corporation Street tramway rails are to be replaced this summer meaning Birmingham city centre services to Grand Central and Centenary Square will now terminate on Bull Street for at least 11 weeks - but passengers can use buses as an alternative

14:33, 30 JUN 2021

Tramway rails along Corporation Street are to be replaced after just five years in service to "improve ride quality" - with passengers being offered alternative bus journeys for the expected 11-week reconstruction period instead.

Services to Grand Central and Centenary Square will be shut down from July 25 before the track works are "expected to wrap-up in October."

The work will see all of the tracks replaced from Bull Street's Corporation Street junction right round to Stephenson Street Grand Central.

The Midland Metro Alliance, which did not build the stretch that it is replacing, said: "Those requiring onward travel within the city centre will be able to use their Metro tickets on selected bus services."

Earlier this month, all trams were taken out of service for four days from June 11 following the discovery of a fault on one of the vehicles - maps were posted on shelter windows so that passengers unfamiliar with the city centre could see where they needed to walk to instead.

On June 14, Birmingham City Council began to use the June 1 introduction of the Clean Air Zone to charge the city's estimated one-in-four non-compliant cars £8 per 24-hour day (midnight to midnight) to cross the A4540 Middle Ring Road.

Connecting the Westside bound and prospective Eastside line at the junction of Lower Bull Street and Bull Street with Corporation Street was always going to mean the Bull Street to Grand Central / Centenary Square service would have to be suspended for a period this summer.

The Midland Metro Alliance today announced it would use that disruption to services as an opportunity to replace the tracks along Corporation Street as part of "essential upgrades and maintenance."

Work to build the first part of the Eastside link saw Lower Bull Street being fenced off in early June and there is now a barrier across Corporation Street, too - though trams are currently still running alongside it

Cost of the Metro
The extension from Grand Central to Centenary Square took four years to build and cost £128 million for 0.7 miles of track.

The line was opened just five years ago on May 26, 2016 by Black Sabbath rock star Ozzy Osbourne who'd had a solo hit 35 years previously with a 1980 song featuring the lyrics: "I'm going off the rails on a crazy train."

Phase one of the Westside extension from Grand Central to Centenary Square opened to the public with this first ride on December 11, 2019 and was costed at £65.8 million for some 650 metres (0.4 miles) of track.

Phase two of the line from Centenary Square to 54 Hagley Road is not expected to be completed until December this year - this stretch is 1300m long (0.8 miles) and is costing an estimated £83.4 million for a total Westside extension cost from Grand Central to 54 Hagley Road of £149 million.

Work to build a new £227 million, mlle-long line serving Eastside through to The Old Crown pub on High Street, Deritend, was given an official launch late last year but is not expected to go into service until 2025.

A Midland Metro Alliance spokesperson said the cost of the work was a matter for other parties.

BirminghamLive has asked Transport for West Midlands how much it will cost to replace the existing rails on Corporation Street.

What is happening?
In a statement, the Midland Metro Alliance said that throughout the works, from July 25 to an unnamed date in October, tram services "will continue to serve Birmingham city centre at a temporary terminus at Bull Street in the Colmore Business District.

"Those requiring onward travel within the city centre will be able to use their Metro tickets on selected bus services.

"As well as replacing the tram track on Corporation Street, the MMA will also look to build additional public transport improvements on behalf of Birmingham City Council at Paradise Circus.

"This is subject to reviewing the proposals following public consultation feedback and obtaining the necessary approvals.

"This proposed activity, along with that on Corporation Street, has been scheduled ahead of testing, commissioning and driver training commencing later this autumn in preparation for the new route to Edgbaston Village opening to passengers."

What they say
Michael Anderson, Metro Programme Director for TfWM, said: “As we prepare for passenger services to a new terminus in Edgbaston Village later this year, the Corporation Street track replacement will allow for an improved ride quality as well as reducing the need for any future maintenance.

"This investment in line one, which follows other upgrades in the Wolverhampton area of the route, would be needed in the future.

"But by carrying it out at the same time as the first works for the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension, overall disruption is reduced.”

Maria Ion, Project Director at MMA, added: “The activity currently underway on Lower Bull Street will see a complex piece of tramway infrastructure installed at the junction of Bull Street and Corporation Street

"When connecting these tracks to the existing ones, a considerable amount of track would need to be upgraded anyway, so by combining the works we’re improving the current line and preventing additional impacts on those living, working and visiting Birmingham city centre.”

Rose Rees, Head of Engagement and Skills at MMA, explained: “We recognise that no-one welcomes disruption, but these works are essential for the world-class Metro system we are building in the West Midlands.

"Our dedicated Stakeholder Liaison Team is working with businesses and residents in the area to ensure they are informed of the works and any changes they need to be aware of for the duration of the project.”