Its taken its time but the West Midlands Metro is now running public services to Wolverhampton Railway Station following the opening of the much delayed extension on Sunday 17th September – with things finally happening as planned on the day with no major issues causing problems!
The short extension – its less than half a mile long (0.43 miles to be precise of 0.7km if you prefer) – leaves the original West Midlands Metro line just before the St George’s terminus (which is currently closed whilst more works take place) and then travels along Piper’s Row and Railway Drive before terminating just beyond the main entrance to Wolverhampton Railway Station. As well as the stop at the Railway Station there is also one on Piper’s Row adjacent to Wolverhampton Bus Station. There are overhead wires until the intermediate stop with the rest being without wires.
It had been the original plan that services to Wolverhampton Railway Station would commence in 2020 but many things have got in the way which have seen delays in its completion. These have included the pandemic, war in Ukraine and supply chain problems to name but three. Every time it seemed that we were getting closer to it opening then something seemed to set it back but it will not be set back any more as trams are now running seven days a week onto the extension.
For now all services will only go to the Railway Station but it is planned that later this autumn services will alternate between Wolverhampton Railway Station and Wolverhampton St George’s. Each terminus will be served every 15 minutes meaning that the bulk of the system will see a much improved frequency of every 7-8 minutes. But for now the timetable introduced from 17th September sees trams every 10 minutes Monday-Saturday and every 15 minutes on a Sunday (early morning and late evening sees lower frequencies). The end to end journey time is 57 minutes.
Services started on Sunday 17th September with Urbos3 31 doing the honours of the very first public working. 31 is of course named Cyrille Regis MBE who once played football for Wolverhampton Wanderers, as one of contributors notes it would have been good if this was a deliberate act! Other trams out on the first day included 30, 37, 43, 44, 45, 51 and 53.
- A video of the opening is available on YouTube from Podbaba Transport at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQsPDBe3k70