Its now been seven weeks since West Midlands Metro services through Birmingham City Centre were suspended to allow for the installation for the new delta junction linking the current line to the Eastside extension as well as the track relay along Corporation Street and into Stephenson Street where the Grand Central stop is located. During this time excellent progress has been made and all the pre-cast concrete units are now in place with work now underway on the welding of the track and the pouring of the concrete.
As we mention in most of these photo updates from the work the delta junction (Midland Metro Alliance who complete the extension works on behalf of Transport for West Midlands have now officially called it delta junction in update publicity) is being installed now ahead of time so it is in place for when the Eastside extension opens. There is currently no planned opening date of this extension as it will be tied into HS2 works at the new Curzon Street station but putting the junction in now “future-proofs” the line and will hopefully mean less disruption ahead of when it does open.
The 1.7km extension will diverge from the current city centre line at the Bull Street/Corporation Street junction and run to High Street Deritend. There will be four new stops built and these will serve both Curzon Street HS2 station and Birmingham Coach Station. When open it is expected that at peak times there will be a tram every six minutes, although its not clear where they will run from – especially considering the delta junction being installed will allow trams from the both the Wolverhampton and Edgbaston directions to run onto the line. (A map of the route and more details are available on the Midland Metro Alliance website at https://metroalliance.co.uk/projects/birmingham-eastside-extension/).
In addition to the construction of the junction the opportunity is being taken during this closure to relay the tracks along Corporation Street to ensure that this doesn’t have to be closed again in a few years.
West Midlands Metro services are currently only running as far as Bull Street from Wolverhampton St George’s to allow this work to take place. This closure has been in place since 24th July and is scheduled to be the case until “at least October”. But hopefully the progress seen in these photos means it won’t be extended beyond that.