The first stretch of tram tracks has been installed outside Wolverhampton’s revitalised railway station as part of the metro extension in the city.
A total of 40 metres of double track has been installed on Railway Drive, while last week also saw the installation of the extension’s switch and crossing, a section of rail that allows trams to move from one track to another. It follows a significant concrete pour on the project, completed last month.
The final phase of main construction for the scheme is currently taking place outside the revamped Station Plaza following the completion of the new railway station earlier in the summer.
The Wolverhampton City Centre Metro extension is part of Transport for West Midlands and the City of Wolverhampton Council’s joint plans to create a ‘seamless’ transport interchange in the city centre.
Once completed, what is now known as West Midlands Metro will serve two new tram stops; one at the city’s bus station on Pipers Row and one at the railway station, ‘allowing people to easily change between other modes of transport to continue their journeys’.
West Midlands mayor Andy Street (pictured, second from left) said: ‘It was just a few short weeks ago that the team were celebrating a successful concrete pour on the project, and so it is brilliant that we are now marking another important milestone with track already laid for the extension.
'This scheme will make a real difference to the West Midlands, both by improving public transport links for commuters, as well as boosting our economy and creating and protecting local jobs.’
Stephen Simkins, City of Wolverhampton Council deputy leader and cabinet member for city economy (pictured, centre), said: ‘Connecting the Metro to the very front door of our brand new railway station is what our award-winning Interchange project to deliver the very best connectivity between all modes of transport is all about - and I am delighted to see the first sections of track being laid in the Station Plaza.
‘The new Interchange is already proving to be a game-changer for Wolverhampton by helping to attract the first Government department headquarters outside of Whitehall, at the i9 building next to the railway station and Metro.
‘It is a big part of how we are re-imagining and re-inventing our city centre to help boost the local economy, create jobs and make the most of our canalside areas, where we have major housing plans.’