Since the end of 2013 visitors attending the Black Country Living Museum and wishing to enjoy a tram ride have been sorely disappointed with the short running line closed as a result of a condition survey showing the track was in a poor state of repair. However a recent positive development has seen the start of repairs to the line which it is hoped will allow tram services to return this summer.
It had long been thought that the line – the only 3’6” traditional tramway in the UK – was in a poor condition but it wasn’t until the independent survey undertaken at the end of 2013 that it was realised just how bad the track was. The decision was taken to immediately suspend all operations until funding could be secured to undertake repairs. The whole of 2014 went by with no trams running and a replacement vintage bus service running instead and it had been feared that 2015 would also be the same but now thanks to the Black Country Transport Group and the Friends of the Museum work has begun to replace sections of track.
The work will include the relaying of 129 metres of track and the Museum have recently acquired new rails with work to replace these commencing in the last week. The first phase of work is due to be completed over the next few weeks with further work due to take place allowing a full resumption of services by the summer.
The Black Country Living Museum have two operational trams on site in Wolverhampton & District 34 (a classic Black Country Tividale car) and Wolverhampton 49 (a open top double deck tram). Dudley, Stourbridge & District 5 (another Tividale car) is currently away at the Llangollen Railway where it is undergoing a full restoration, which started in 2012.