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BIRMINGHAM (UK) Metro-tram

BIRMINGHAM- The UKs second biggest city after London is just about to expand its metro-tram from the current terminus at the city's snowhill station right through the heart of the city centre to the new redeveloped new street train station.

Impressive visual fly-through of the new city centre extension.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVxgrMXKr6s
 

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Seems a good idea. Takes people to the heart of the shopping area and I presume it means Snow Hill gets its fourth platform back for through services.
 

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This tread about public transport in and around Birmingham, England. The important kind of transport in the city is tram network called Midland Metro, opened on 30th May 1999. It consists 21,6 km and 23 stop. City centre extension between city's two main rail stations - Snow Hill and New Street - is now under construction, with extensions to Merry Hill, Wolverhampton station and Birmingham Airport are proposed. Midland Metro map from urbanrail.net:



Photos from Wikipedia. The rolling stock is AnsaldoBreda T69 - there are 16 of them. There are going to be replaced by 20 CAF Urbos 3 trams:









Flythrough of future city centre extension:


Video of arrival of new tram

 

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The train network is far more important than the tram. Coupled with that, the bus network is the most important form of public transport in the city, not anything rail-based. Birmingham has a very good bus network overall.
 

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Official from Centro:

http://www.centro.org.uk/about-us/news/2014/minister-visits-metro-extension-and-announces-£5-million-tram-track-upgrade-for-wolverhampton/

Minister announces £5 million Wolverhampton tram track upgrade
13.03.2014

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer today (Thursday March 13) announced a £5 million funding package to upgrade the on-street Midland Metro tram tracks through Wolverhampton.

The Minister made the announcement while in Birmingham to see first-hand how construction is progressing on the £128 million Metro extension through the heart of the city.

The government funding will enable transport authority Centro to replace tracks in the Bilston Road area of Wolverhampton which are now 15-years-old and badly worn.

The work, due to be carried out during this year's school summer holidays, will help the Metro maintain its 99 per cent reliability while offering passengers a much quieter, smoother ride.

Baroness Kramer said: "This tram line is really important to the local economy. It provides a frequent link to key areas of employment, development and regeneration.

"The £5m we are providing today will both help to maintain the A41, a key route in Wolverhampton and will also ensure that the Midland Metro system continues to be an efficient and attractive way for people to get around."

Centro's lead member for Rail and Metro, Cllr Roger Horton, said: "These are exciting times for the Metro and I'm delighted that the Minister has been able to come and see how the tram is helping to transform the city.

"But the funding announced today will bring real benefits for the five million passengers who already use the Metro. The track upgrade in Wolverhampton will mean more comfort for passengers and will be particularly noticeable in terms of less noise and vibration when our new fleet of trams start going into service later this year."

The £128 million tram extension includes a £40 million, 20-strong fleet of sleek Urbos 3 trams being built by Spanish manufacturer CAF.

The new, bigger trams will provide 40 per cent more capacity on the system helping to meet an expected rise in passenger numbers - from five to eight million - when the Birmingham city centre extension opens next year.

The extension, a joint project by Centro and the Black Country and Birmingham City councils, is expected to create more than 1,300 new jobs and boost the regional economy by more than £50 million a year.

It will see trams run from Snow Hill through Bull Street, Corporation Street and Stephenson Street, terminating outside New Street Station, where a £600 million rebuild is also due for completion next year.

The Minister was told how the replacement Wolverhampton tram tracks and the Birmingham city centre extension will use a different type of steel which is much harder wearing than the original tracks.

The Wolverhampton upgrade will involve the replacement of worn rail and 'crossovers' that allow trams to change tracks. It will also involve road resurfacing around the track and Centro is liaising closely with Wolverhampton City Council to co-ordinate the work.

The upgrade will mean a degree of disruption for passengers but is being carried out during the school summer holidays when passenger numbers are at their lowest.

Alternative bus services will also be available to ensure passengers are still able to make their journeys.

Full details of the changes to services and alternative buses will be announced closer to the time
 

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From Centro (Birmingham transport authority), published on the 7th April:

http://www.centro.org.uk/about-us/news/2014/public-gets-first-view-of-urbos-3-tram/

New Midland Metro tram makes public debut in Birmingham
07.04.2014


The new Urbos 3, right, alongside one of the old trams at Snow Hill station

Hundreds of commuters and transport enthusiasts have been given their first glimpse of the new trams for the Midland Metro.

The Urbos 3 tram was on display on the Metro platform at Snow Hill station in Birmingham and the result was a resounding thumbs-up from the public.

Paul Griffiths, Metro Programme Director for Centro said: "They praised it for its roominess, extra capacity and liked touches such as green seats indicating priority seating.

"The one constant question was 'When are they coming into service'?, and we were happy to tell them that it will be in the summer."

The new tram, which is one of a £40 million fleet that will eventually be 21-strong, was at Snow Hill as part of Your Public Transport Matters, a regular event where the public can meet Centro representatives and give their views on the network.

The Urbos 3 vehicle is made by CAF of Spain and is a third bigger than the Metro's existing trams, carrying around 210 passengers compared to 156 on the current T69 model.

This, together with a frequency of ten trams an hour, will increase overall capacity by 40 per cent, easing the overcrowding that sometimes occurs during peak times as a result of the Metro's popularity.

The new trams are still undergoing testing, to be followed by a period of driver training, before entering service on the line between Snow Hill and Wolverhampton.

They will eventually be deployed on the Metro extension from Snow Hill to New Street now being constructed through Birmingham which, when completed in 2015, will see trams return to the city's streets for the first time in more than 60 years.

The £128 million extension joint project by Centro, the Black Country and Birmingham City councils, is expected to create more than 1,300 new jobs and boost the regional economy by more than £50 million a year.

It is also expected to increase the number of passengers using the Metro each year from five to eight million.

Work is progressing on laying the on-street tracks for the extension which will see trams run from Snow Hill through Bull Street, Corporation Street and Stephenson Street, terminating outside New Street station, where a £600 million rebuild is also due for completion next year.
 

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From Global Rail News:

http://www.globalrailnews.com/2014/05/28/centro-seeks-permission-for-wolverhampton-extension/

Centro seeks permission for Wolverhampton extension
28 MAY, 2014



Transport authority Centro has applied to the Secretary of State for the powers needed to extend the Midland Metro to Wolverhampton.

Centro has submitted a Transport and Works Act Order Application to deliver an £18 million extension of the network within Wolverhampton City Centre.

The plans would include a new section connecting the city’s railway station, becoming the latest phase of a major expansion of the light rail network.

Work is already underway on a 1.4-kilometre extension which will create stops at Birmingham New Street and Snow Hill stations and there are further plans to continue on through the Paradise Circus development and on to Centenary Square.

Other proposals include links to the Black Country and a connection to the new HS2 station.

Paul Griffiths, Metro programme director at Centro, said: “Submitting this application represents the next step forward in our plans to extend the Midland Metro through Wolverhampton city centre, which will not only improve the service for passengers but also provide a welcome boost to the economy.

“By taking the Metro to the railway station it will make it even easier for passengers to move between tram, bus and train and better connect people to jobs, education and training opportunities.

“The extension will also support the planned redevelopment of land next to the station which is expected to bring £100 million of investment to the region and create 1,400 new jobs, which is of course great news for the city.

“This adds to already exciting times for the Metro, with new state-of-the-art trams set to start running on tracks this summer and the extension to connect Birmingham’s New Street and Snow Hill stations due for completion next year.”

The £18 million needed to complete the project – a price based on the assumption that the extension will be completed by April 2018 – will come from a variety of sources, including The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (BCLEP), Wolverhampton City Council and Centro Prudential Borrowing.

The £128 million Midland Metro extension began in February 2012 and as well as creating a longer network, the project includes a fleet of 20 new Urbos 3 trams and enlarging the tram depot at Wednesbury
 

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Taken from Birmingham subforum, latest progress on Midland Metro extension:

Photos from today, work continues outside Snowhill 1, and on Bull Street the new pavement stretches out on the inbound side from Colemore Gate to the Minories, over on Corporation Street a lengthy section of track as been laid along side the tram stop platform.


Midland Metro Extension by metrogogo, on Flickr


Midland Metro Extension by metrogogo, on Flickr


Midland Metro Extension by metrogogo, on Flickr


Midland Metro Extension by metrogogo, on Flickr


Midland Metro Extension by metrogogo, on Flickr


Midland Metro Extension by metrogogo, on Flickr


Midland Metro Extension by metrogogo, on Flickr
And on New Street station rebuilding:

Photo I took from the Rotunda at Architecture Festival.

 

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Official from Centro:

http://www.centro.org.uk/about-us/news/2014/dudley-port-revamp-(2)/

'Tired' Black Country rail station gets £40k revamp
04.06.2014

A Black Country rail station once considered one of the least attractive for passengers anywhere in the region has been given a fresh new look.

More than £40,000 has been spent refurbishing the station's shabby subway and tired-looking waiting shelters as part of joint project by transport authority Centro and train operator London Midland.

The work, carried out under the Transforming Rail Travel partnership, has also seen new and brighter lighting installed and overgrown vegetation cut back along the path between the new park and ride facility and the station itself.

Centro's lead member for rail and Metro, Cllr Roger Horton, said: "Dudley Port was one of the worst in the region in terms of visual appearance and passenger facilities.

"Yet for a relatively small amount of money we have been able to make it cleaner, brighter and more comfortable, creating the sort of environment that can encourage more people to use public transport."

The facelift has also tackled the waiting shelters' old and 'foggy' polycarbonate windows, which suffered from graffiti and etchings.

These have been replaced with innovative mesh-style panels that are less vulnerable to vandalism and easier to see through.

David Whitley, head of regional services at London Midland, added; "We believe the run down appearance of the station contributed towards some passengers feeling unsafe.

"It may also have had a 'broken-window' effect, where one piece of graffiti or window etching can lead to further and more serious vandalism.

"The work we have carried out will help passengers feel safer and more comfortable and is another good example of how Centro and London Midland are working together for the benefit of rail users."
 

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From Express & Star:

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2014/06/12/midland-metro-stops-closed-for-five-months-of-refurbishment/

No Midland Metro trams in Wolverhampton city centre for five months
June 12, 2014 1:00 pm



Trams will not travel to or from Wolverhampton city centre for five months, it was revealed today, leading to warnings of major disruptions for commuters

Passengers will be forced to use buses for part of their journey while work is carried out on a section of the tram route in the city.

Tram tracks embedded in the A41 Bilston Road will be renovated as part of the £5 million project.

The main St George’s stop in Wolverhampton will be closed off and refurbished.

It will mean passengers travelling into the city will have get off at Priestfield and travel around two miles on buses. Buses will also be laid on for people travelling away from Wolverhampton. Work starts next month and finishes in November.

The project was announced by Transport Minister Baroness Kramer in March, who said the line was ‘really important to the local economy’. The St George’s platform will also be extended as part of the work so that it can accommodate a new Spanish-built fleet of Urbos 3 trams.

Bosses at Centro said The Royal stop – which falls in between the St George’s and Priestfield stations – would reopen at some point between July and November, but St George’s will remain closed for the full five months of work.

National Express buses will accept and sell tram tickets to Priestfield and The Royal during the disruption.

Centro spokesman Peter Cameron said: “The work will be carried out in two stages and will require the Metro system to be closed between Priestfield and St George’s. The first phase will take place at The Royal and once completed this will allow us to run trams to the stop while the second phase of work leading up to St George’s is carried out.

“The replacement will see a £5m upgrade to the existing rails as well as preparing the platforms for the arrival of the new fleet of trams.

“We have been reminding passengers that work to upgrade the Midland Metro tracks along the Bilston Road will be taking place later this year.

“Preparatory work will begin in the summer and we will be announcing the specific dates of the closure later in the year.”
 
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