As previously publicised Bilston Road was reopened to traffic from Saturday 2nd December following the completion of the major track relay project between Priestfield and The Royal. Although the road is reopened this doesn’t mean that trams are running back to Wolverhampton St George’s just yet as the next week will see commissioning and driver training along this section, which hasn’t been in use since June. The first major testing along the line started on Sunday 3rd December.
Testing is taking place as an extension of the normal service. Trams from Grand Central are still terminating at Priestfield but instead of reversing and returning to Birmingham they are then continuing out of service along Bilston Road all the way to Wolverhampton St George’s. On the early morning trips in Sunday 3rd December there were also engineers on hand at certain sections of the line, including at signals to check that everything was working as it should have been.
The first day of testing saw trams 19, 27, 31, 36 and 37 in service and thus becoming the first trams to run in daylight. Previously 18 had been used on two separate occasions for the initial test runs in the early hours of the morning.