UK-first for battery-operated Midland Metro tram

News

A battery-powered tram ran successfully along a newly laid track specifically built without overhead wires, in a UK-first by Midland Metro.

The service, part of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension, which runs from Grand Central to Centenary Square, marks a major step forward for light rail across the country and creates opportunities to deliver tram routes in areas that may prove challenging for aesthetic or engineering reasons.

Further testing will continue in preparation for the launch of passenger services in December. The work is being designed and delivered by the Midland Metro Alliance on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

Peter Cushing, director of West Midlands Metro, said: “Testing and commissioning is a crucial phase of the project and I am delighted the trials have now progressed to Centenary Square.

“Over the coming weeks, as well as providing the opportunity for the vital testing of tracks, signals and other infrastructure, the extensive programme will also move to daytime running, allowing people to get used to trams travelling at low speeds through different areas of the city centre ahead of services commencing later this year.”