There has been further progress on the expansion and improvement of Midland Metro
this week with Centro and CAF formally signing contracts to provide up to 25 new trams. It had previously been announced that CAF were the preferred bidder for the new trams and this news now means the Spanish firm will be supplying the Urbos 3 trams to operate on Midland Metro from 2014.
The deal is worth in the region of £40 million and will initially see 20 trams supplied by CAF with the option for an extra five if demand requires it. They will be built in Zaragoza, Spain before being shipped to Wednesbury. The introduction of the Urbos 3 trams will be project managed from CAF’s Coventry office.
Speaking about the signing of contracts, Geoff Inskip, Centro Chief Executive, said: “I am
delighted that we have formally signed contracts for this exciting new chapter in the story of the Midland Metro. The new Urbos trams are high-quality vehicles which will be a superb addition to public transport in the Midlands.”
Antonio Campos, Commercial Director of CAF, added: “CAF are thrilled to be involved in the line extension project and believe the trams will make a significant contribution to improving transport links between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. The Urbos 3 tram is a stylish vehicle and will add to the character of the West Midlands.”
It is planned that the new trams – which are bigger than the current Ansaldo trams with capacity for up to 200 passengers – will enter service in late 2014 on the current line between Wolverhampton St George’s and Birmingham Snow Hill before the extension through to New Street is opened the following year.
CAF have also built the trams for the new Edinburgh tram line which is currently due to open in 2014. The question is which City will operate a CAF built tram in passenger service?