west midlands metro

The West Midlands tram network goes digital

West Midlands Metro has undergone a digital radio communications system upgrade, developed to revolutionise communications that are so vital for its tram operations. 

This is as part of a £1.3bn investment into the network  

Mike Pelling of WMCA (West Midlands Combined Authority) said: “We’re using proven digital technology and adapting it for our purposes around our model of operations. We need to make sure that the users of our trams can feel safe and that our drivers and operators know they have the very best technology to help them in their work.

“The tram system is also playing an increasingly important part in reducing carbon emissions across the region and reducing road traffic at the same time.”

The network is anticipated to triple in size in forthcoming years, with further additional trams, upgrades to depot-maintenance facilities and Operations Control Centre.

Included in the upgrade and expansion programme are a number of control, communications and passenger information systems that support and maintain a seamless operation of the tramway.

They will provide West Midlands Metro with the ability to monitor tram movements and passengers using the network and provided the mechanism to react to any incidents with accuracy and efficiency.

The significant investment and expansion in the West Midlands Metro has seen the opening of Centenary Square extension in December 2019 with Edgbaston Extension due to open this year shortly followed by Wolverhampton extension. A new spur line consisting of a further 15 trams stops is currently under construction to Brierley Hill which will be in service 2023.

The expansion of the system will also eventually include a route to Birmingham International Airport which is currently in design phase. The Combined Authority has also ordered a further 21 trams to facilitate the expansion.

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