The Midland Metro Alliance – who plan and construct extensions of the West Midlands Metro on behalf of Transport for West Midlands – have released a computer generated video to show what the trams will look like as they travel through Dudley Town Centre. This “first look” gives the public the first chance to see what the blue trams may look like as they operate in Dudley – with the service due to commence at some point in 2023.
The 11km extension of the West Midlands Metro will diverge from the current Wolverhampton-Birmingham line at Wednesbury and head to Brierley Hill via Dudley, including stops at locations such as Dudley Castle, the Black Country Living Museum and the Merry Hill Shopping Centre. It will run for part of its route on the former South Staffordshire railway line but will also have some on street running as well as new sections of reserved track.
This footage has been created by designers at the Midland Metro Alliance and shows the trams travelling in Dudley Town Centre with destinations on the trams such as Brierley Hill, Wednesbury, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Although exact designs of the route have yet to be finalised this is aimed to show the public for the first time just what the trams will look like when they finally arrive.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “This brilliant video clip transports viewers a few years into the future to see an important addition to our region’s transport network. The construction of this extension is more important than ever as infrastructure projects, like this one, are critical to our recovery from the global pandemic as they help to generate money for the local economy and secure and create local jobs for local people. The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill route will be a huge connectivity boost for the people of Dudley and Sandwell, and it also forms a key part of our wider, ambitious plans for the metro network across the whole West Midlands.”
Work started on the line in 2020 with this mainly concentrating on utility diversion and the demolition of some structures which needed upgrading for the trams. Track and sleepers were also removed from the South Staffordshire Railway corridor with some of these being donated to the Severn Valley Railway.
More information on further work for 2021 is due in the early part of this year as the work will continue at a pace with a view to the first trams running in 2023.
Paul Marshall, Head of Design at the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “We’re really excited to be able to share this early vision of how the extension is set to look in coming years. Throughout the global pandemic the team have been busy working on the design for the route and work has progressed well, even in these challenging times. The final design for the tramway is set to be completed next year, so viewers should be aware that some details in the video may differ slightly from what is constructed.”
- The video can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/487162274