New Spanish tram arrives in the Black Country on 40m lorry

Eight new state-of-the-art trams have been shipped to the Black Country from Spain as part of a major expansion of the region's tram network.

West Midlands Metro has taken delivery of the first of eight new state-of-the-art trams
West Midlands Metro has taken delivery of the first of eight new state-of-the-art trams

West Midlands Metro has taken delivery of the first of eight third generation Urbo trams – shipped from the factory in Zaragoza, Spain.

It arrived at the Metro depot in Wednesbury on a 40-metre-long lorry, driven under escort.

The vehicle, which weighs 45.5 tonnes, was then carefully lowered down a specially-built ramp onto the track.

The trams are arriving in the West Midlands over the next few months and the first five will be put into service later this year ready for the extended lines in Birmingham and Wolverhampton to be opened.

A further 13 trams will be delivered in 2023 ahead of the opening of the extension being built between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill.

The bright blue liveried trams are able to run under power from overhead electric cables, while recharging the onboard battery ready for cable free sections of track.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “These are incredibly exciting times for the Metro in the West Midlands, as we undergo a huge expansion of the network after decades of under investment.

“With the extension to the Westside of Birmingham nearing completion, and diggers in the ground on both the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill and Birmingham Eastside extensions, it is clear we are going to need significantly more trams in service as we attract more and more people onto the Metro.

“Not only are our trams a quick and easy alternative to the car, but they’re also far more environmentally friendly, helping to reduce air pollution and tackle the climate emergency.”

The purchase of the 21 vehicles was part on an £83.5 million deal signed in 2019 between West Midlands Metro and manufacturer CAF.

Also included is technical support and battery management services over 30 years, as well as an option to purchase a further 29 trams as the network grows.

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