Express & Star

Midland Metro tram tested on new Bilston Road tracks ahead of road reopening

Trams have been tested on newly installed tracks in Wolverhampton ahead of traffic restrictions being lifted on Saturday.

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Tram 18 heads into Wolverhampton St. George’s for the first time since June, on its trial run overnight.

The Midland Metro Alliance, which has replaced nearly two miles of double tram track between Priestfield and The Royal, released pictures of the trial run carried out overnight.

It was the first time the overhead lines in Bilston Road had been switched on since work began on June 11.

The busy road running from the city centre to Bilston is set to reopen in both directions on Saturday while trams will once again run through to Wolverhampton St. George’s from December 10. There will be further tests carried out in the intervening period.

Paul Brown, Project Director for Midland Metro Alliance, said: "At midnight, the team had a safety briefing and the overhead lines along this stretch of track were switched on for the first time since June. Shortly afterwards a tram began travelling along Bilston Road as the first element of testing and commissioning the 2.7km of tram track took place.

"Testing and commissioning is an important phase of the construction of a tram track and involves running trams out of passenger service along the newly installed track. The Urbos 3 trams drive at low speeds allowing engineers to test the tram in a working environment.

"Seeing the first tram run along the track that our team has worked so hard to install over the past six months was an extremely exciting moment and very rewarding for all of us at the Midland Metro Alliance. We once again thank everyone in the area for their patience during this essential maintenance project.”

The works in Bilston Road caused months of misery for firms, with two forced to shut down altogether. They are set to be completed more than two weeks ahead of schedule.

The engineering project has seen more than 100 people employed, while more than 175,000 working hours were recorded during the scheme.

Work continues on a new £15 million Metro line along Pipers Row and Railway Drive, linking the Wolverhampton St George's stop with the city's railway station.

Tram stops are planned for either side of Pipers Row, near Castle Street, and Centro bosses say the line could eventually be extended further towards New Cross Hospital.

Visit for information about the Midland Metro service over the coming weeks.