Work has started on a major project to expand and upgrade the Wednesbury Midland Metro Depot ahead of the delivery of the new trams, which are due to enter service in February 2014. The contract for the £13.8 million project has been awarded to Morgan Sindall.
The main focus of the work at Wednesbury depot will be a 42 metre extension to the east of the existing maintenance shed along with additional maintenance berths, four new stabling sidings and a separate testing and commissioning shed. In addition the current overhead line, infrastructure and communications will be upgraded and a new substation will be constructed at Colliery Road, West Bromwich.
Tom Ansell, lead member for rail and Metro at Centro, said: “This is an exciting development for the Midland Metro. Morgan Sindall have been appointed to the job after a rigorous tendering procedure, having demonstrated a thorough understanding of their brief and approaching the whole process in a thorough and professional manner.”
Recently at the Depot it was noted that 02 has been moved outside of the main building for the first time in around two years. The tram was sat alongside 01 outside the back of the Depot with 09 having taken its place inside the depot, this tram having not been seen in service for around a month.
As reported previously final go-ahead for the Birmingham City Centre extension from Snow Hill to New Street was given earlier this year which is due to be completed by 2015 by which time the new fleet of CAF trams should be in regular operation.
Recent progress on the viaduct leading from Great Charles Street towards Birmingham City Centre has seen parapets added on the Snow Hill Station side with mounting bolts for the eventual overhead masts also being installed.
With thanks to Michael Averill for information included in this article.