Coming soon: Approved extensions across the British Isles

Can’t keep up with which extensions have been approved and either about to start or have started construction or are just ideas and may happen in the future? Well, if you are worry no more as if here is you one stop overview of all approved extensions across the British Isles. We’re not including those places where there is just a renewal of existing lines (i.e. Douglas Bay Horse Tramway) but will look at all tramways whether traditional or modern and their planned extensions.

Blackpool Tramway

Blackpool North Railway Station

Where? Leaving the current tramway at North Pier this line heads through Talbot Square (where a stop for trams going up will be provided) and up Talbot Road. Trams will be able to access the line from both directions allowing a service to be provided from both Starr Gate and Fleetwood to the station.

New stops? One new stop in Talbot Square for trams heading to the railway station only plus the terminus at the railway station.

How much progress? Track is in place as far as Wilkinson’s but no overhead has been installed and the Wilkinson’s store needs to be demolished to allow the final sections of track and the new terminus to be constructed.

When? Pass! Originally due to open at Easter 2019 no official date has been mentioned since this was missed. With Wilkinson’s still in situ it seems it will be quite some time before we see trams in service up Talbot Road.

East Anglia Transport Museum

Expansion of museum site including new tramlines

Where? Following the purchase of additional land a major expansion of the museum will follow. This will include an extension to the tramway (as well as railway and trolleybus route).

How much progress? The first stage of work commenced in early 2019 on the East Suffolk Light Railway. No work has yet commenced on the tramway.

When? No date has been set for completion of the work.

Edinburgh Trams


Where? Extending the current line from York Place up Leith Walk to Newhaven this line will add an additional 2.8 miles to the tramway. As part of the works the current terminus at York Place will be removed and replaced by a new stop around the corner at Picardy Place.

New stops? Picardy Place (replacing York Place), McDonald Road, Balfour Street, Foot of the Walk, Constitution Street/Bernard Street, Port of Leith, Ocean Terminal and Newhaven.

How much progress? Approved in March 2019 the first preparatory works have started but the bulk of work is yet to commence.

When? The aim is for the line to open to passengers in early 2023

Manchester Metrolink

Trafford Park

Where? Leaving the Eccles line just after the stop at Pomona this 5.5km route will travel to the Trafford Centre.

New stops? Wharfside (for Old Trafford football ground), Imperial War Museum North, Village, Parkway, EventCity and Trafford Centre.

How much progress? Excellent progress has been made with the bulk of track now in place and the platforms also well advanced at all stops. Overhead installation has yet to commence.

When? Planned to open in early 2020

Other Manchester Metrolink extensions are under consideration (including possible tram-train links) but no firm decisions have yet been made.

West Midlands Metro

Birmingham Westside

Where? An extension of the Birmingham City Centre line from Grand Central to Hagley Road, Edgbaston due to be constructed in two phases totalling a little over 2km in length. The first phase will run through Victoria Square to Centenary Square with a second phase continuing via Five Ways to Hagley Road. The first phase will be completely without overhead wires allowing the trams to make use of their batteries.

New stops? Phase one will see stops at Victoria Square and Centenary Square with further stops at Brindleyplace, Five Ways and Hagley Road following as part of phase two.

How much progress? Tracklaying is continuing on phase one along with the construction of the new stops. Attention is also turning to phase two with the first preparatory works now underway.

When? Phase One to Centenary Square is scheduled to open in late 2019. The remainder of the line should open in 2021.

Wednesbury to Brierley Hill

Where? A major 11km extension of the Metro partly using the trackbed of the former South Staffordshire railway. Travelling to Brierley Hill via Tipton and Dudley the line will link with attractions including the Black Country Living Museum. Investigations are underway to see if any sections can be constructed without overhead.

New stops? 17 of them are planned! Golds Hill, Great Bridge, Horseley Road, Dudley Port, Sedgley Road, Birmingham New Road, Tipton Road, Station Road, Dudley Town Centre, Flood Street, New Road, Cinder Bank, Pedmore Road, Canal Street, Waterfront, Merry Hill Centre, Brierley Hill

How much progress? Still early days with preparatory works along the route of the old trackbed the main focus of attention so far. There has also been some utility diversion on Dudley Town Centre. A full programme of works will be drawn up once the results of the investigative work are studied.

When? Passenger services are expected to begin by 2023.

Wolverhampton City Centre

Where? Leaving the current line to Wolverhampton St George’s shortly before the terminus this line will run along Piper’s Row passing the Bus Station and then along Railway Drive to a terminus at the redeveloped railway station.

New stops? Two new stops will be constructed at the Bus Station on Piper’s Row and at the Railway Station

How much progress? Whilst the majority of track is in place as far as Railway Drive it goes no further until the redevelopment work at Wolverhampton Railway Station (which has now started) is completed. Some finishing works are still needed on those sections where the track laying has completed. It is expected that the route will be built without overhead allowing battery trams to operate throughout.

When? Expected to open in 2020 although no confirmation of when abouts in the year. The timing will be dependent on the completion of works at the Railway Station.

There are also two further lines under consideration, neither of which have yet been given final government approval. These are Birmingham Eastside (1.7km to Digbeth leaving the current line at Bull Street and featuring a stop at the HS2 Curzon Street station) and East Birmingham and Solihull (a further 17km extension of the Eastside line to Solihull).

* Whilst extensions on other current tramways have been mentioned no formal approval for any of these has yet been given and as such they do not appear above. This article will be regularly updated with the latest progress on these extensions. Noticed any errors or omissions? Please contact us through the usual channels and we will correct!

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