After four days with no trams running it has been confirmed that a limited service will resume on the West Midlands Metro from the start of service on Tuesday 15th June after sufficient trams were cleared as available for service. But trams will only run between Wolverhampton St George’s and Bull Street every 10 minutes for most of the day. It remains a similar picture on Manchester Metrolink as well where the Altrincham line continues to have a reduced service.
As we reported at the end of last week services on the West Midlands Metro were suspended from the start of service on Friday 11th June after the discovery of cracks at each end of the underframe of at least one of the CAF built Urbos3 trams. This led to the decision to withdraw the complete fleet to allowing CAF to undertake precautionary checks on all 20 of the trams which are currently in the West Midlands.
It had initially been hoped that these checks would be completed over the weekend but it was subsequently announced late on Sunday that further time was needed to conduct these checks and no service would again run on Monday 14th June with a further update due to be released by 1700 once all trams had been checked.
1700 passed with the situation still being assessed and eventually it was confirmed that a service would resume from the start of Tuesday 15th June but only on the section between Wolverhampton St George’s and Bull Street. This will run every 10 minutes for most of the day before it reduces to every 15 minutes after 1900.
First trams run as follows:
- Wednesbury Parkway to Bull Street – 0428 Monday to Saturday, 0800 Sunday
- Wolverhampton St George’s to Bull Street – 0515 Monday to Saturday, 0800 Sunday
- Wednesbury Parkway to Wolverhampton St George’s – 0459 Monday to Saturday, 0800 Sunday
- Bull Street to Wolverhampton St George’s – 0505 Monday to Saturday, 0800 Sunday
Last trams run as follows:
- Bull Street to Wolverhampton St George’s – 2330 Monday to Saturday, 2300 Sunday
- Bull Street to Wednesbury Parkway – 0015 Monday to Saturday, 2345 Sunday
- Wolverhampton St George’s to Bull Street – 2330 Monday to Saturday, 2300 Sunday
- Wolverhampton St George’s to Wednesbury Parkway – 0015 Monday to Saturday, 2345 Sunday
The statement giving details of the revised service seems to confirm that during the checks of the trams more than one has been discovered with the cracks as it says that “repairs have commenced on the vehicles affected by the fault”. No details have been given of the numbers involved or what these repairs will consist of.
The frequency of the service will be increased as and when further trams are repaired and returned to service but there is no timescale for this to happen.
Meanwhile, on Manchester Metrolink the reduced service on the Altrincham line which first started on Friday has continued throughout Monday 14th June. The signalling issues are still ongoing which has meant the 20 minute frequency (first put into place on Friday) has continued, instead of the usual 10 minute service for most of the day.
All services on the Altrincham line (running into Piccadilly) have been allocated as doubles and a bespoke bus service is also operating between 0700 and 1900 from Altrincham to Trafford Bar every 12 minutes. There is also ticket acceptance on the 263 bus service and Northern Rail services between Manchester City Centre and Altrincham/Navigation Road.
There has been no mention of when a normal service may resume in Manchester at this time.