Midland Metro extensions

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by MarkWi72, 15 Nov 2017.

  1. MarkWi72

    MarkWi72 Member

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    I believe some remedial work (in clearing the old line of vegetation) has begun on the Wednesbury-Merry Hill branch. This is the old 'low level' line through Golds Hill, Great Bridge, Dudley Port Low Level and Dudley. Does anyone have any more information on this? It has taken its time to come about - the line was closed in 1991 and in the early 90s, the Metro had been agreed in principle. I think talks started back in the early 80s - in the days of Phil Bateman.

    I suppose the Brum Centre work took long enough for a quite small section.

    I also know that there re plans for another line through East Birmingham into parts of Solihull (HS2 Hub/Airport). THis will go from Curzon Street out through Washwood Heath, Hodge Hill, Castle Bromwich, Kingshurst, Chelmsley Wood and onto the area of the Hub (near the A452/M42/M6).

    Having travelled on light rail in the North East, plus a month ago in Manchester, I was impressed with these areas - and am flummoxed why such a big conurbation such as the West Midlands has struggled with light rail. Especially as Manchester and Nottingham has seen some serious development in recent years. And in relatively small provincial towns on the Continent (I've been to Valenciennes in France which had a small system), the UK is far behind overall.

    Thoughts, knowledge anyone? Is it insular Councils and Gov policy pushing car ownership above all?
     
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  3. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    I was involved in some of these abortive projects in the 90s and subsequently, and a lot of the problems were about disagreements between the local authorities along the routes, on issues such as city centre versus out of town shopping and probably political differences in some cases. Greater Manchester and Nottingham(shire) have by and large managed to overcome these disagreements and West Midlands now seems to have got its act together.
     
  4. MarkWi72

    MarkWi72 Member

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    Hopefully. If the Mayor has enough clout and cash, then we may see a move forwards on this issue.
     
  5. JordyWM

    JordyWM Member

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    With the introduction of the combined WMCA and the new mayor, there really seems to be real aspirations to get things moving. I just hope that they see it through.

    Living in my area, I still hope for the day where we have a local station for either train or tram, and from thing’s I have read and heard, there’s new hope for both.
     
  6. JordyWM

    JordyWM Member

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  7. OverSpeed

    OverSpeed Member

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    I watched BBC Midlands Today earlier, and it has been announced 100% http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-e...egions&ns_fee=0#post_5a1311efe4b077dbf6d45cef

    There already some naysayers saying it should not be happening, but instead it should be a heavy rail system, but on the plus side 4 of the biggest shopping and leisure destinations of the West Midlands (Brierly Hill,Dudley,Wolverhampton and Birmingham) Will all be linked Via transit finally, on the negative side, i went for a job to be a Tram Driver for NX, but turned it down as where i live, i'd struggle to commute to the depot, wish i went for it now!
     
  8. JordyWM

    JordyWM Member

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    I agree with those who say it should have been heavy rail, then the service could have continued to Stourbridge Junction.

    I would have reintroduced heavy rail and construct a branch line to Merry Hill. I think the line going to Wednesbury would put alot of potential users off.

    Saying this, the tram is better than no rail link at all, but I just think it’s a missed opportunity that could have linked Dudley and Brierley Hill to more places, potentially at a lower cost.
     
  9. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Heavy rail would have had to use the tunnel under Dudley, while trams can actually get into the town centre.
     
  10. duffield

    duffield Member

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    Just put a station in the middle of the tunnel, couple of lift shafts up to the top, job done! :E
     
  11. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Platforms might be a tad narrow?
     
  12. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Not in the least suitable for heavy rail. The tram can get around the streets (where the people want to go!), and at a higher frequency.
     
  13. nottinghamcity

    nottinghamcity Member

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    I sort of wondered about a hybrid solution. Heavy rail south from Dudley, and the metro connecting from the mainline station to Wednesbury. Running the Stourbridge jn stoppers to Dudley instead
     
  14. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    That wouldn't serve Merry Hill, which is probably the most significant destination on the route. The difference in height means that getting there with anything other than a tram is impossible (as with the centre of Dudley).

    There have been suggestions from time to time of an ultra-light rail shuttle to link Stourbridge Junction with this area using the freight line, but probably only if it is closed or singled to make a track available.
     
  15. JordyWM

    JordyWM Member

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    I never knew that when they built the Dudley Southern By-pass that they left room for the tram line.

    I hope that with this go ahead that they also push on with plans to reconnect Brierley Hill to Stourbridge junction, but I believe that’s part of the HS2 connection plans?
     
  16. Class 172 Fan

    Class 172 Fan Member

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    If only we had the management that Manchester had we would probably have had all of the planned extensions built and ready

    As an aside, when the announced the route and terminus, I noticed that it's going to be very interesting in Brierley Hill as they would have to knock down the old Dudley Council cabin by the bypass, plus the Dudley Council Housing Office, as well as build over the Birmingham Metropolitan Art and Design Centre's car park (or half of the Temple next door)

    Then there is the loss of half of the car parking provision in the eastern side on Dudley Town Centre, when they bung the tram down flood street, along with possibly some of the new houses next to the bypass and council car park

    I think I certainly will be avoiding Dudley whenever I can (I usually do as I do most of what I need to do in Stourbridge) whilst all the tram works are happening.
     
  17. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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  18. JordyWM

    JordyWM Member

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    That’s it, and I looked at that exact street view image the other day! Then when reaching flood street island you can see a grass embankement where presumably it will converge onto Flood Steet, so maybe no car park spaces will be taken unless they need to widen Flood Street itself?

    I’m also intrigued on how they will move onto the Waterfront section, as the route on the plans shows it going through a small factory that looks like it needs to be demolished near Waterfront away. Then how will the embankment look at Merry Hill, as it looks like that will need some work to make room for the tracks and a station.

    I also wonder what work Parkhead Viaduct will need in regards to strengthening and repair.
     
  19. option

    option Member

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    Why is 'the line going to Wednesbury' an issue? People don't travel only to the end of transport links.
    Surely it's starting at Wednesbury because that's where the depot is, & the existing line, so links to Wolverhampton especially.

    For the Stourbridge end, you could always come into Stourbridge Junction station from the town end.
    Brettell Lane - High St - Stourbridge - station
    It would replace the shuttle, & link the station into the town centre & beyond better.
     
  20. duffield

    duffield Member

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    Visited Birmingham a week ago and I saw that the extension from New Street to Centenary square is well advanced - track laying stage underway.

    (I was trying to get to the 'canal district', the bit by the NEC, and ended up going up what was a dead end due to the tram works - I can normally navigate central Birmingham by memory but my memory doesn't include the tram extension!).

    Anyone know if there is a projected opening date for Centenary square?
     
  21. DavidGrain

    DavidGrain Member

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    I believe the tram extension to Centenary Square will be end of this year but I never believe forecasts of opening dates. Remember how they had to use a truck to tow the tram into Bull Street for the Queen to inspect on what was supposed to be the official opening of the extension to New Street.

    The Five Ways underpass will be closed from next Monday (3rd June) until the end of 2021 so that they can lay the tracks for the Broad Street extension.
     
  22. DavidGrain

    DavidGrain Member

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    The plan to extend the Stourbridge terminators to Brierley Hill has now been shelved. Apparently it would have required an additional platform at Stourbridge Junction so it is a pity they do not plan to extend the Metro to Stourbridge
     

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