From Monday 24th September works to connect the current West Midlands Metro line on Stephenson Street with the extension to Centenary Square and Edgbaston will see a change of platform for all services running to Wolverhampton St George’s. From this date – and until summer 2019 – all trams will both arrive and depart from the platform closest to New Street station.
Since the line opened to Grand Central although trams have arrived at that platform they have the moved forward along Stephenson Street – to a position just opposite the entrance to the Ian Allan bookshop – before reversing and using a crossover to regain the correct track. They have then departed from the other platform.
However, with the construction works for the extension of the line – which should see trams running to Centenary Square in 2019 and Edgbaston in 2021 – now moving forward to the stage where the tracks on Stephenson Street need to be connected it won’t be possible for trams to perform this move. As a result services will now arrive and depart at the same platform before using the crossover just to the Corporation Street side of the stop. A bit of new track there for many to tick off the list!
With the exception of these changes services shouldn’t be affected with the same frequency due to run. Currently trams do often arrive at Grand Central whilst the previous one is due to depart back to Wolverhampton but without the need to run forward and reverse any lost time waiting for access to the platform shouldn’t cause any significant delays.
Carl Williams, West Midlands Metro Director of Operations, said: “We obviously apologise to customers for any inconvenience but we need to implement these changes to ensure our services through to Grand Central can be maintained whilst the engineering works are completed. This is an exciting time for Metro as we look forward to the major extensions which will ultimately triple the size of the network, making it accessible to even more people throughout our region. The first of these extensions through to Centenary Square is scheduled to open for passenger services late next year.”