Track replaced as part of the major relaying project on Bilston Road is set to enjoy a second life with 100 metres of rail having been donated to the Black Country Living Museum. Although at the end of its operational life for extensive use on a modern tramway the track still has plenty of life in it for the museum tramway and is set to be used as part of the museum’s expansion plans.
The donated track is to be cleaned up by staff at the Black Country Living Museum before being used in maintenance and expansion projects. Expansion plans for the museum were announced earlier this summer and included in these is an extended tram line with a new 1940s to 1960s town set to be built in the Lottery supported project.
Tim Shields, Curator for Industry and Transport at the Black Country Living Museum, said: “We’re really grateful to the Midland Metro Alliance for this very generous donation of track. An important part of our major new development project ‘BCLM: Forging Ahead’ is the extension of our visitor tramway and we hope to use this particular track to create a turning radii to take historic trams along our 1930s street. We are especially pleased that it has been saved from its previous location in Bilston and will be put to good use at the Museum for years to come.”
Eventually the museum will be able to be reached by tram with the Midland Metro extension between Wednesbury to Brierley Hill due to transport visitors across the Black Country including to the museum. This is hoped to open in 2023.
Speaking about the donation of track, Paul Brown, Midland Metro Alliance Project Director for the Bilston Road project, said: “Whilst the track along Bilston Road was reaching the end of its operational life for such a busy route, there was still enough life in the track for a smaller vintage tramline. The Midland Metro Alliance puts sustainability at the heart of everything that it does and we are pleased the old track being removed from Bilston Road will be recycled at such a popular West Midlands venue for the enjoyment of all.”