Latest Rail News

17.10.13

Midland Metro’s £40m new fleet begins to arrive

The first of Centro’s new fleet of Midland Metro trams has been officially unveiled, following delivery by CAF. 

The £40m, 20-strong fleet will allow Centro to run ten trams an hour through the city centre, increasing overall capacity by 40% and easing overcrowding. The new vehicles will go into service next year, following testing and driver training. 

The new Urbos 3 tram is a third bigger than the Metro’s existing 16-strong fleet of Ansaldo Trasporti models, carrying around 200 passengers compared to 156. 

Sir Albert said: “The delivery of the first tram is a real milestone because Metro has a key role to play in the on-going development of our transport network so that it can underpin economic growth right across the West Midlands. 

“Work is already underway on the city centre extension, but we are now planning to take the Metro on further to Centenary Square as well as extending it through Wolverhampton city centre to the railway station.” 

Centro chief executive, Geoff Inskip, said: “The new trams and the forthcoming extensions mark the start of an exciting new chapter for the Midland Metro system which together with improvements to our local heavy rail system can provide the transport connections we need to regenerate the West Midlands and secure the maximum economic benefits possible from the forthcoming HS2 high speed rail line.” 

The new trams also required the Metro’s maintenance depot in Potter’s Lane, Wednesbury, to be remodelled and extended. Additional maintenance berths were added, as well as four new stabling sidings and a separate testing and commissioning shed. The £14m project was awarded to Morgan Sindall. 

Jag Paddam, managing director of infrastructure at Morgan Sindall, said: “This complex project has been undertaken with minimal disruption to the day-to-day running of the tram service thanks to a collaborative approach between our project team and the operations staff at the depot.” 

midland lower down story

Centro said: “The arrival of the first tram required a significant logistical operation over land and sea. It was loaded in two separate pieces onto low loader trucks at CAF's factory in Zaragoza before being taken under police escort to the Spanish port of Santander.

From there it was taken by ship to Plymouth where the trucks were met by a British police escort for their onward journey to Wednesbury.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Ricp   18/10/2013 at 23:26

Bearing in mind the Ansaldo trams are barely 20 years old, I wonder if these low floor trams will find another home, either in the UK where we need to introduce a tram system at a lower cost, or more likely find a home overseas in Eastern Europe, where there is a market for our railway cast offs. It is worth noting that in Birmingham, we are selling off relatively modern trams, but in Newcastle, Tyne & Wear Metro are renovating the excellent LRVs made by Metro Cammell in Birmingham, manufactures of some of the most robust high quality railway vehicles in the world. Such a pity that Alstom's management could not keep that reputation up with the somewhat erratic performance of it's post takeover products, both diesel and electric MU products. The 334s are making good up in Scotland with their first mid-life refurbishment, and the 458s settled down after trials and tribulations. Same too as the 175 and 180 diesels. But none compared with the 'working out of the box' efficiency of the 101s and 156s.

Cfr   20/10/2013 at 15:31

I understand that the majority of the existing WM Metro fleet is to be retained by Centro for the proposed extension to Merry Hill.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

18/06/2019Record number of passenger journeys as UK rail revenue rises to four-year high

Record figures of rail passenger journeys have been recorded in England, Scotland and Wales, according to the most recent quarterly report by the... more >
Rail union Aslef launches 'On Track with Diversity' report at Houses of Parliament

18/06/2019Rail union Aslef launches 'On Track with Diversity' report at Houses of Parliament

Train drivers’ union Aslef launched its On Track with Diversity report at the Houses of Parliament on Monday, as it looks to increase ... more >
Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >