Work starts on Brierley Hill Midland Metro extension

Work has started on the proposed Midland Metro extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill with the Midland Metro Alliance starting to clear vegetation from overgrown areas of the disused former South Staffordshire Railway line. This will allow for full structural and environmental surveys to take place.

It is expected that the clearance works will take approximately two weeks to complete and that disruption to the public should be minimal.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport for the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “Whilst this is not the formal start of work on the extension it is the first step towards it. There is a lot of work still to be done but once it is complete the Black Country and wider region will reap the economic rewards of having an extended modern tram system running through it.”

Alejandro Moreno, Midland Metro Alliance Director, added: “We are very excited to begin work on this key route but before we can begin construction, we do need to carry out some preparatory work in order to decide what further works are required to prepare for construction.”

Full construction of the route is anticipated to start in 2019 and it is hoped that the first passengers will be able to travel between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill from 2023. The proposed route would leave the current Midland Metro line to the east of Wednesbury Depot and would mainly run along a disused heavy rail corridor although will deviate from this to access Dudley Town Centre, Merry Hill and the terminus at Brierley Hill. It would be 11km long with 17 stops planned to be constructed (including four provisional). A new depot would be built to accommodate the extra trams needed for this route and early investigations are also looking at which sections can be built without overhead wires and be operated using batteries instead.

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11 Responses to Work starts on Brierley Hill Midland Metro extension

  1. Paul says:

    The old trackbed between wednesbury to dudley still has old track in situ

  2. Andy says:

    I walked the route from Brierley hill to Walsall back in 2013
    There is a complete photo set of the route on skyscraper city forum

  3. Paul Jefferies says:

    I hope this battery system works properly and sustainably in practice (ie the batteries dont have to be replaced regularly and therefore become too expensive), they seem to be racing ahead to build wire-free lines without doing any long term testing of the principle

  4. John Stewart says:

    I’m sorry to have to say (on this forum) that I really think that it should be retained as a heavy rail route including reinstating Brownhills to Walsall so that freight can run from Wychnor Junction to Stourbridge Junction and Worcester avoiding Birmingham and the Lickey Incline.

  5. Stephen says:

    I believe the Transport and Works act Order means the heavy rail corridor has to remain. I know the plan a few years ago was development of the light rail element of the project without the negative impact on the heavy rail corridor. Whether this was tram train using the same tracks or alternative tram tracks I am not sure. I also recall a suggestion that tram could use the heavy rail tracks in the short term but that they would be configured to be tram train comparable in the future.

    • Paul says:

      Surely if national/network rail was interested in using the route for frieght they would have done before now. Hopefully the line can be successfully for midland metro.

      Hope midland metro can plan to extend brierley hill to wednesbury up to Walsall.

      • Stephen says:

        The thing is it is Network Rails line so they have first refusal on it and ultimately there may be a need for heavy rail in the future. The business case at the moment doesn’t stack up but it may do in the future if some of the Wedt Midlands freight proposals come to fruition. The tram can still happen and will go well with t but it is a mothballed live railway.

  6. John Gilbert says:

    As the extension is only “proposed”, is it not a bit previous to start work on it? I speak as one who would love this work to go ahead LAST TUESDAY and aware how sluggish is everything progressive on both railways and tramways in the UK as a rule, due usually to the politicians and civil servants in Westminster. (In fact the expression ‘British progress’ is a true oxymoron!)

    • Paul says:

      They all ready have approval issued in 2005 for the route from a transport for works act.

    • John Stewart says:

      The “work” that is going ahead is basically clearance so they can see enough to do a proper survey. It’s what happened on the East-West rail line.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It would be a tremendous idea to run from Brownhills again. We are told there is too much traffic on the roads time and time again but sadly there is never money available to do anything about it. It really is time for change and the Metro would be a fantastic system if run properly

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