Friday 5th September. That was the last time that Midland Metro ran services through to Wolverhampton St George’s. But now almost seven months later trams are finally once again running the complete length of the tramway following the completion of the severely delayed rail replacement works. Earlier this year Centro promised that services would resume to St George’s in March and they were right, but only just as it was Tuesday 31st March!
The line was closed between Priestfield and Wolverhampton St George’s at the start of September for what was expected to be a three month project with the section between Priestfield and The Royal due to open sooner. However soon after the work began uncharted mine workings were discovered under the road surface along Bilston Road which caused the much publicised delays. It was finally possible for the line to be opened as far as The Royal on Monday 15th December but at this stage there was no clue from Centro as to when the whole line would reopen. Fortunately as 2015 began progress started to be made and it was announced that trams would run to St George’s from March – and that promise was kept.
As part of the works a new layout was created at Wolverhampton St George’s with the roadside platform track removed to leave the terminus with just a solitary platform which leads to both inbound and outbound tracks. An extra crossover was also installed at The Royal to aid short running as necessary.
Testing was undertaken on Monday 30th March and all was found to be fine with the new track at St George’s and so Midland Metro confirmed that trams would return from the start of service the following day. This duly happened and the long suffering commuters who use the Metro no longer have to change to buses at The Royal after nearly seven very long months of disruption.