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Birmingham Metro Area For Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the West Midlands.



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Old March 16th, 2011, 12:41 AM   #1
Qoasis777
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Official Midland Metro Thread

Okay so we have a thread for "trams" and one for "Transport" but I think it's about time this had its own dedicated thread.

Approved and ready for implementation

So we have ready for implementation the extension from Snow Hill to New Street. Tenders have closed for the works to build a new depot and enhancements to the existing track and platforms enhancements.

Having looked at the submission made to the goverment (links to pdf downloads available on www.centro.gov.uk) it would appear that the first four of the new trams could be running on the existing line by the end of 2011 (the forecast is for no later than end of 2012). All new trams to be running by mid 2013.

The contract for the actual extension works is planned to be awarded by the end of this year with works beginning towards the end of 2012.

Future routes

Include as local transport priorities Wolves city centre loop, 5W's route but most likely to happen next the Wednesbury to Brierley hill line.

See here http://www.centro.org.uk/metro/futureroutes.aspx for details and maps of the proposed routes.

Interesting that the section detailing the Brierley hill extension mentions that funding for 25% of the £268m scheme is already in place from the private sector (£36m from Westfield the parent company of Merry Hill centre).

Also the website now states the following: -

"Wednesbury to Brierley Hill route along with the route through Birmingham City Centre will be built as a joint project and they are expected to take three years to build and recoup their costs within the first four years of operation."


Not sure if this is three years from now (as is the case for the city centre bit) but seems positive anyway and a bid is being prepared for fundng for the Brierley Hill line which can be submitted to central government in 2012

All of this information is taken from www.centro.gov.uk

My first thread on here so go easy on me if you don't like it but I think we do need a Midland Metro thread and now after a long wait (in the style of its subject!) here it is - enjoy!

Last edited by Qoasis777; March 16th, 2011 at 12:46 AM.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 01:33 AM   #2
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Whatever happened to the proposed A34 route to Perry Barr?

Given the number of students and the popularity of the number 7 bus route i feel that route would be a contender for the most profitable.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #3
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it needs to be extended right down the bristol road to rubery that would be the real money maker.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #4
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Have they even chosen a supplier for the new trams!! If not, I'd be very suprised if any new trams appear before the end of the year.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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I'd be surprised to see any before the end of next year, and probably the one after.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 04:16 PM   #6
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When work starts on the City Ext, it would be good if they did it in stages to pevent a large part of the City being closed and looking like a tip.
Start with the Snowhill part, build a new tram stop at the New Station entrance and one Near the junction with Colmore Row, then reinstate plat 4 Snow Hill. I presume the Metro works would be responsible for putting Snowhill back the way it was. Then that section could be opened.
Then build down to Moorstreet, The Metro must be constucted with HS2 in mind.
The City needs to be forward thinking with this route rather than sticking to the plans that have been swilling around for years and years.
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Old March 17th, 2011, 12:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Whatever happened to the proposed A34 route to Perry Barr?

Given the number of students and the popularity of the number 7 bus route i feel that route would be a contender for the most profitable.
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I think this is being dealt with by the Sprint bus service. I agree this a major route but not on the list of priorities at the moment, probably due to cost. Long term this route i think will be planned.

Quote:
it needs to be extended right down the bristol road to rubery that would be the real money maker.
Agreed. A previous route of birmingham tram services and the roads and central reservations are wide enough to take it. Hopefully something Centro will consider in the future.

Quote:
Have they even chosen a supplier for the new trams!! If not, I'd be very suprised if any new trams appear before the end of the year.
I believe that pre-tendering has taken place but not sure whether a supplier has been chosen yet. Only going off what the website says so can't answer this one.

Quote:
I'd be surprised to see any before the end of next year, and probably the one after.
Like it or not this extension has funding and WILL happen together with new trams too. I know this is a sore subject round these parts but this is happening. Deal with it and maybe look "glass half full" rather than the alternative.

Quote:
When work starts on the City Ext, it would be good if they did it in stages to pevent a large part of the City being closed and looking like a tip.
Start with the Snowhill part, build a new tram stop at the New Station entrance and one Near the junction with Colmore Row, then reinstate plat 4 Snow Hill. I presume the Metro works would be responsible for putting Snowhill back the way it was. Then that section could be opened.
Then build down to Moorstreet, The Metro must be constucted with HS2 in mind.
The City needs to be forward thinking with this route rather than sticking to the plans that have been swilling around for years and years.
Yesterday 02:26 PM
I disagree. We need to stick to the plan we have for this city. HS2 is at least 15 years away (if it happens) so we cant plan our urban tranaport around that. The BCCE will enable links to out to Moor Street / Digbeth. \i see this small extension as key to the whole of the potential Birmingham Metro network.
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Old March 17th, 2011, 09:09 AM   #8
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Pre-tender isn't ordering though!! Manchester Metrolink signed their order with Bombardier in April 2007. The first tram didn't arrive until June 2009 and then didn't enter service until December 09.

I wish birmingham the best of luck with the extensions, but I can help feel that there is a little bit of over optimism.
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Old March 17th, 2011, 09:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Midland Metro to get £500,000 upgrade
Thursday 17th March 2011, 11:30AM GMT.
A £500,000 investment will see upgrades to CCTV, public address systems and customer help-points on the Midland Metro.

Announcements should be clearer with an improved public address system as well as there being new help point services on trams and in stations.

The firm is also investing in a new CCTV control system that will allow security staff to manoeuvre cameras from the control room.

Midland Metro manager Fred Roberts told a meeting at Sandwell Council House: “This upgrade is due to be commissioned in early April and will greatly improve the communication systems on the tram system.”

The upgrade will be rolled out throughout April so passengers should see very little disruption to services, security and safety on the trams and at stations. Mr Roberts added this year the company also plans to upgrade the systems which monitor the voltage to high level overhead lines.

In a separate £400,000 programme, Midland Metro will also be carrying out major engineering works between April 17 to 20 which will result in the temporary closure of the line between Wolverhampton St George’s and Wednesbury Parkway.

The upgrade will replace the supports to the overhead power lines with new materials that enjoy a lifespan of 20 to 30 years.

Travel authority Centro spokesman Mark Langford said: “This is a continuation of the upgrade of the overhead electric cable which took place last October. It will also allow other maintenance work to take place avoiding the need for any further disruption.”

During the works, passengers who need to travel between Wolverhampton St George’s and Wednesbury Parkway can use Midland Metro tickets on the 79 and 126 National Express bus services.

Read more: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2...#ixzz1Gt9p4EyC
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Old March 19th, 2011, 12:09 AM   #10
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hello Traffordboy, welcome to the thread and thanks for contributing.

The deadline for tenders is 30th March 2011 (for tram procurement).

I understand what you are saying but it really wont take three years to supply a few trams. The money is available and the timescales have been taken from Centro's own business case.

How long can it take to build a few trams?
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Old March 19th, 2011, 02:40 AM   #11
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Well the contacts will need to be agreed, which will take some time as specifications will need to be agreed. A time slot will then have to be found in manufacturers production lines. Bearing I mind that the are only 3 major suppliers these days - CAF, siemens, bomardier. Manchester went for an off the peg german design (the drivers door is still on he wrong side!!) which still took over a year to appear, and even then each one has to do a 1000 mile acceptance test!

Bearing in mind it has taken Manchester 4 years from signing contracts to taking delivery of it's 28th new vehicle. This being for a standard german tram from the worlds biggest producer!!

Please don't take me as being negative, I'm just comparing it to a current example.

P.s. you never know, Centro may make the same balls up as Edinburgh have and just end up with a load of unfinished track stuck in the ground. Heres hoping not!!

Last edited by traffordboy; March 19th, 2011 at 02:54 AM.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 09:47 AM   #12
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Well they can use the trams we have already till they deliver the new lot.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 10:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soul_13 View Post
Well they can use the trams we have already till they deliver the new lot.
Erm yes!! I was responding to thE comment that the new vehicles will arrive by the end of the year. This is highly unlikely in my opinion, unless of course Centro are buying Edinburgh's surplus trams!!
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Old March 19th, 2011, 11:31 AM   #14
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thanks TB. Not all the vehicles just the first four. You are correct in that by the time all 19 are supplied we will be into 2014 - in time for the new line to open. But anyway I guess we will see - I agree that end of this year is optomistic it just what the centro business case says. It will likely be 2012 before we see the first ones.

Interesting that the tender states there needs to be an option for an additional 6 trams - I wonder if this is with the Brierley Hill extension in mind? (pure speculation)

TB - what are the new Metrolink trams like any good? I took the Metrolink to Sale last year for a wedding and the tram was really old (although the service very good)
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Old March 19th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #15
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oh I think Soul13 was responding to your last paragraph about having unused track as we do already have a fleet of trams running - Ansaldo T69 i think. Not the best but i've never had a problem on them...
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Old March 20th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Midland Metro to partially close for engineering works
By A. Samuel · March 18, 2011 · Metros
Midland Metro
The work is to enhance the service for passengers and maintain the tram system’s 99% reliability

The Midland Metro will be partially closed for four days in April to allow for the completion of a £400,000 maintenance project.

The line between Wolverhampton St George’s and Wednesbury Parkway will be affected by the closure between April 17-20 inclusive. Trams will continue to operate as normal between Wednesbury Parkway and Birmingham Snow Hill.

The work is to enhance the service for passengers and maintain the tram system’s 99% reliability. It is the continuation of a project begun last October by transport authority Centro and operator Travel Midland Metro, where similar work was undertaken between Birmingham Snow Hill and Wednesbury Great Western Street.

It will see enhancement work to the overhead cables, which will give them a life span of up to 30 years and require less maintenance than the existing lines installed more than a decade ago.

Sophie Allison, Metro Partnerships Manager at Centro, said: “The tram system is already the West Midlands most reliable mode of transport, and the overhead line upgrade will help us to make sure it maintains its great record of almost 100 per cent reliability in to the future.

“Unfortunately it will be necessary to close the tram system in part over a four day period to upgrade the overhead lines. We apologise for any disruption but this is the best way for us to get the work done. Doing it in any other way would take significantly longer and cause more disruption to passengers over an extended period.”

Passengers travelling to destinations between Wolverhampton St George’s and Wednesbury Parkway will be able to use Midland Metro tickets and passes on the National Express West Midlands (NXWM) 79 and 126 bus services during the closure period. NXWM Daysaver tickets issued on the 79 and 126 will also be valid on the Metro.

However Metro and Metro/bus tickets are not valid on the rail network.

In a separate project, CCTV and the communications system used on the Metro network is receiving a £500,000 upgrade which will come into operation in early April.

This includes providing passengers with an improved information announcement and display system and enhanced help points at stops including Braille lettering for the blind and visually impaired. It will also update the CCTV control systems along the line and improve passenger information points.

Sophie said: “Passengers can be assured that the level of investment in these two programmes is proof of our determination to maintain the extremely high levels of reliability and security on the Midland Metro in the future.

“The enhancement work will make the lines more robust so they are less likely to require ongoing maintenance work, reducing the risk of delays on the tram system for passengers, while improvements to the CCTV and communications systems means people will get better information and feel safer when they use the network.”
http://www.rail.co/2011/03/18/midlan...neering-works/
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Old March 20th, 2011, 02:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qoasis777 View Post
oh I think Soul13 was responding to your last paragraph about having unused track as we do already have a fleet of trams running - Ansaldo T69 i think. Not the best but i've never had a problem on them...
But the operators have.. maintainence is a huge problem because they're so bloody complex. More complexity means more things likely to go wrong, means more time and extra effort to get them repaired, means they cost a bomb to run.. Hopefully, Centro or whoever will get wise abd buy Siemens stock.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon2000 View Post
But the operators have.. maintainence is a huge problem because they're so bloody complex. More complexity means more things likely to go wrong, means more time and extra effort to get them repaired, means they cost a bomb to run.. Hopefully, Centro or whoever will get wise abd buy Siemens stock.
I had opportunity to vist the maintenance depot a few years ago and one of the engineers described the wiring of each tram (with no sense of irony) as being like a plate of spaghetti - i think this might have been quite a common joke about them.

Part of the reason we never got a 6 minute interval service on the metro is that the number of trams that are avaliable at any one time from the original purchase is reduced since a larger number are out of service at any one time than planned while one tram was scrapped completely to use for spares.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 05:09 PM   #19
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well here's hoping they buy decent stuff this time round - i'm sure they wont make the same mistake twice.

Hopefully the new ones will be a smoother ride as well. The current ones I find rather rickety.

Does anybody have any idea how many trams would be required to run the 6 minute service between Brum - Wolves and also the proposed service between New St-Brierley Hill / Wolves Brierley Hill? Its just the tender states that it is for 19 trams with an option to buy six more?
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Old March 21st, 2011, 08:36 PM   #20
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should buy alstom they are brill
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