West Midlands Metro expect ‘phased return’ of tram services

Midlands Metro Ltd have confirmed when they expect tram services in the region to be available again for the public

Tram services in the West Midlands are expected to resume by the end of May, but it may initially only be the service between Bull street and Wolverhampton.

Transport for West Midlands say it is likely the metro services will return in phases.

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All metro services in the region were suspended for a third time in nine months in March, after cracks appeared on some of the older trams.

Due to the cracks, Midland Metro Limited is requiring the manufacturer CAF to replace the panels rather than repair the existing panels, meaning the service will be out of action for weeks.

West Midlands Metro

West Midlands Metro confirmed on Friday (April 8) that passenger services are expected to resume ‘by the end of May 2022’, although it’s likely this will initially only be the service between Bull Street and Wolverhampton.

In a statement issued to BirminghamWorld today (Monday, April 11) a spokesman for the West Midlands Metro, said:“We expect there to be a phased return to service.

“This will likely see an initial return of service between Bull Street and Wolverhampton, gradually increasing as more trams become available.”

The statement issued on Friday, read:“Works to restore the West Midlands Metro services have been progressing and we now expect to be in a position to resume passenger services by the end of May 2022.

“Alongside the manufacturer, CAF, we have now completed a detailed assessment of the tram fleet and begun a schedule of works to replace cracked body panels that will enable trams to return to service as quickly as possible.

“Midland Metro Limited (MML) has required the manufacturer to replace the panels rather than repair the existing ones to ensure the future reliability and robustness of the service.

“While works are well underway at the Wednesbury depot, further steps are being taken to accelerate the repair programme, including securing additional ‘off site’ workshop facilities. Further details of where trams may be sent for repairs will be confirmed in due course.

“In the meantime, we have also brought in additional engineers from across the UK and overseas that have the necessary skills to carry out these specialist panel replacements.”

What happened the last time the trams were suspended?

The network was initially suspended in June after minor cracks were found on the lines in the city centre during an inspection.

After the services partially resumed, cracks were again discovered in some trams on November 13, with permanent repairs required.

Since the summer, individual trams were taken out of service on a rota basis, and the full service only resumed in February.

But after discovering cracks on some of the older trams, Transport for West Midlands have decided to suspend all services again as a precautionary measure as of 20 March until further notice.

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