The last built of the original 21 Urbos3 trams for West Midlands Metro has returned to Spain for repairs. 37 – named Ozzy Osbourne – departed Wednesbury Depot on Friday 16th October to make the long trip back to Spain via Plymouth where it would be loaded on the ferry.
Its not known what the problem with 37 is but it has been out of service for the past few months and after inspection of the tram it was decided that in order to complete the repairs it would be best to send it back to the manufacturer. Before the tram departed it had been stripped internally with most of the seating and panelling removed. Whether this was in an attempt to repair it or to investigate the problem is unknown. It is believed that the tram will need some welding work as part of the repair.
With a slightly reduced timetable in operation on the West Midlands Metro the departure of 37 shouldn’t cause too many problems for now and with any luck the repairs can be completed fairly quickly.
In leaving Wednesbury, 37 becomes the second of the class to have returned to mainland Europe following on from 18 which had its batteries fitted at the CAF facility in 2017. Of note, the previous Urbos3 which needed external works remained in the UK when 26 was sent to Wolverton Works. It spent six months there in 2017/18 but ended up being out of service for a full two years. Let’s hope that 37’s absence from service isn’t as long!