The newly expanded Midland Metro depot at Wednesbury has been officially opened following the completion of the £13.8 million project. Cllr Darren Cooper, the leader of Sandwell Borough Council and also a member of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority, was on hand to do the honours this week at the culmination of the two year project.
The project has been completed in two phases: the first was finished in 2013 and saw a testing and commissioning shed constructed along with additional trackwork and overhead line electrification providing stabling facilities for up to 24 trams. This second phase has seen a 42 metre extension to the existing maintenance shed, new office and staff space and new storage facilities for the tram maintenance works. There has also been an upgrade to some electrical substations plus the addition of a new substation at West Bromwich.
Cllr Roger Horton, Centro lead member for rail, had this to say: “Seeing the new depot come to fruition, along with the fact the new tram fleet is coming into service plus the forthcoming opening of the extension in Birmingham city centre, is brilliant. It is good news and all part of the regeneration of Birmingham, the Black Country and the wider West Midlands.”
This work has all been part of the £128 million expansion of Midland Metro which also includes the acquisition of the new Urbos 3 trams and the extension through Birmingham City Centre to New Street station, due to open by the end of this year.