In Pictures: 27 & 26 return to the West Midlands Metro – in an unusual place!

Over the years on British Trams Online we have featured the delivery or collection of many trams – some of them heritage trams, some of them modern vehicles. Almost every time these have been in or just outside depots so we think that this one is a bit of a change as West Midlands Metro Urbos3s 27 and 26 have been returned to the system  with the unloading taking place on Bilston Road!

27 was the first to return overnight on 23rd/24th January. This was the tram which had left Wednesbury Depot back on 9th December 2022 although it wasn’t known where it had gone. As we presumed it had gone away for bodyside panel replacement and with this being completed in around six weeks it was time for it to be returned to the West Midlands Metro to allow commissioning and a return to service.

That is where the problem lies as at the moment access to the depot is very limited because there is construction work ongoing to build a ramp which will link the current line with the planned extension to Dudley and Brierley Hill. Which means in order to deliver trams alternative arrangements have to be put in place and that involved a tram being delivered on Bilston Road (just beyond Priestfield) and then towed back to Wednesbury Depot.

To enable the delivery there was a late notice temporary change to the West Midlands Metro service with no trams running between Wolverhampton St George’s and Priestfield after 2145. This was announced om the WMM website and Twitter with confirmation that it would be to allow for a tram to be delivered.

Allelys were contracted to conduct the move and after they unloaded the tram, sister Urbos3 23 was used to tow 27 back to the depot. The whole manoeuvre was fairly lengthy and it wasn’t until around 0300 that the move got underway.

The following night (24th/25th February) then saw 26 complete the very same move. 26 had left Wednesbury on 28th October 2022 and moved to the Very Light Rail Innovation Centre in Dudley.

Following repairs to both trams they have returned with the bodyside panels still in plain white without the vinyls being re-added at this time.

27 stands on the back of the low loader awaiting unloading on Bilston Road.

Another shot of 27 and the Allelys lorry.

With a ramp constructed unloading of the tram gets underway.

27 touches West Midlands Metro track once more.

23 is backed down towards 27 in preparation to tow it back to depot.

The two trams are coupled together. (All Photographs Andy Walters, 24th January 2023)

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1 Response to In Pictures: 27 & 26 return to the West Midlands Metro – in an unusual place!

  1. Pablo says:

    Is there any indication if the delta junction at Wednesbury will be connected this year or next year.

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