Countdown begins to major Birmingham extension opening

WEST Midlands Metro tram No. 20 became the first to work through to Centenary Square in Birmingham on October 23, as testing continued along the new Westside extension from Grand Central (New Street).

This city centre extension is the first stage of a much larger expansion of the network around Birmingham, with the Westside line due to reach Edgbaston via Five Ways in 2021, followed by Curzon Street (then on to Birmingham Airport) and Dudley by 2023.

Advert

‘Alternative’

Overnight trials continued into November, with the route to Centenary Square expected to open to passengers before Christmas. 

The new section will serve the International Convention Centre, the headquarters of HSBC Bank and the Library of Birmingham.

Advert
An aerial view of the tram stop at Birmingham Centenary Square in the final stages of construction. Midland Metro Alliance

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said the aim was to make the tram “a genuinely viable alternative to the car in Birmingham city centre.”

Construction of the catenary-free route began in June 2017, a year after the extension from Snow Hill to Grand Central had opened.

Read more News and Features in the December 2019 issue of The Railway Magazine –on sale now!

Advert

Railway Reads

From the history of steam through to 21st century rail transport news, we have titles that cater for all rail enthusiasts. Covering diesels, modelling, steam and modern railways, check out our range of magazines and fantastic subscription offers.

Get The Railway Hub Weekly Round-up

Enter your e-mail address below and you will receive weekly rail news straight into your inbox...


You can unsubscribe at any time.


About the Author

Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...