Saturday 19th September 2020 saw another major milestone achieved on the second phase of the Birmingham Westside extension when the new tracks laid in Broad Street were welded to those already in position in Centenary Square.
There are now more than 950 metres of double track laid in various locations between Broad Street and Five Ways with just a further 120 metres now required to be installed. This is on Broad Street between Gas and Berkley Street junctions as well as a short section at the Hagley Road terminus.
Phase Two of this extension is due to open at some point in 2021 and will see trams extended from the temporary Library terminus – which opened last December – to Hagley Road in Edgbaston with new stops also provided at Brindleyplace and Five Ways.
A further step to completing the tracklaying stage of the works will follow this week when (on Thursday 24th September) concrete will be poured on Broad Street to encase the track in its final position.
Once the tracklaying is completed the public will be able to note the moving of construction to another stage with the hoardings removed and activity moving to the installation of tram stop furniture, paving and street improvements.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, commented: “Improving our region’s transport links is massively important as we make every effort to bring the benefits of economic development to every part of our region. Better transport links are key to bringing the investment in jobs and new homes that we need. And the extension of the Metro is a crucial part of that transport plan. And a crucial part of our plan for cleaner and greener transport. That’s why the linking of two pieces of metro line is such an important step on our journey to improved transport connections across our whole region. And that’s a crucial element of our plan to recharge our economy as we recover from the impact of Covid-19.”
Marta Gasch, Lead Track Engineer for the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “Although trams will not be running on the new route until later next year, it’s exciting to see the connection of the track which we had been installing this year to the existing Metro line. A construction project of this size includes a number of people and I wanted to thank my colleagues all for their continued efforts in helping us to reach this milestone in what is quite a challenging environment.”