Express & Star

New photos show progress of Wolverhampton Metro extension

Inch by inch, the long-awaited extension of Midland Metro to Wolverhampton Station is making progress.

Progress is being made on the metro extension

These images show the latest works on the short stretch of track to connect the city’s St George’s Station to its railway station.

The project was initially meant to be completed in 2020 but was delayed by 18 months due to construction work at the railway station.

It was then due to be ready in time for last summer’s Commonwealth Games, but missed that and was pushed back to the autumn of 2022.

Now the end date is supposed to be next month, with trams running on the line at some point in the spring or possibly into summer.

Meanwhile the cost of the extension is believed to have risen from £35 million to around £50 million.

The latest works have brought a fresh roadworks headache for motorists in the Pipers Row area, with temporary traffic lights bringing congestion and delays. But the area near the i9 and i10 buildings is almost clear, with only a few roadworks being seen and the majority being adjacent to the station itself.

The extension is only around a kilometre long but is seen as important in linking up the rail network to the Midland Metro.

It follows extension work in Birmingham to take trams past New Street Station and beyond towards Edgbaston. And work continues on work to expand the network into Dudley, linking Merry Hill Shopping Centre and Dudley Zoo into the network.

Midland Metro Alliance says “minor public realm works” still need to be completed in Wolverhampton, including the completion of tram stops. It says the final surfacing is now being put down, while in some places paving slabs are being “adjusted and relaid” by workmen.

Testing of the Metro extension to the railway station is expected to begin later in the spring, following the remaining work taking place along Pipers Row and Railway Drive. Tram services may be impacted towards the end of the works as safety checks are carried out. An exact opening date for the extension has yet to be announced and will be dependent on what happens during the testing phase, bosses have said.