The Metro from Birmingham to Wolverhampton

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yummy125

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Are there any plans to extend this "Light Rail" system to Walsall & Stourbridge.
 
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sprinterguy

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The far more expansive early nineties proposals for the Midland Metro included a line from Wolverhampton to Brierley Hill via Darlaston, Walsall, Wednesbury and Dudley. Centro's 1999 "Bite Sized Chunks" initiative, which as far as I know remains the prevailing policy with regards to future extension of the Midland Metro, cut this route back to just the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill via Dudley section, making an end on junction with the present LIne 1.

Alternative proposals have been put forward for a tram-train service, potentially sharing the route with freight traffic, between Walsall and Stourbridge.
 

MetroDriver

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Centro publish their plans on their website - see HERE - the individual route ideas are on the list on the right - each one shows a route plan and descriptive text.

These 'plans' have been in existance for a number of years, and we've seen various consultations / site visits by men in suits etc since I've been there, but the recession had a major affect on future plans. If things change in the future and the government are more in favour of extending our system once they see how successful the current New St extension becomes; then they may well drag up these proposals again and go through the motions of having a rethink. Network Rail have been a problem on the Brierley Hill extension in recent years - from total closure of their old freight line to objecting about trams running on the same trackbed as they thought they might reopen the freight connection once more? Nothing is happening with that line for the forseeable future.

As with anything - costs are a huge factor now - we've seen ideas come and go, and projected costs spiral as time marches on, so we're pinning all our hopes on the current extension and new tram fleet to rejuvenate Midland Metro ;)
 
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From Centro's wish list...

We are looking at enhancing the case for future Metro through shared use of rail lines using 'tram - trains'. Possibilities include the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill and Coventry to Nuneaton corridors.

I can hear NR's scream in the distance. Not like Nuneaton - Coventry isn't running at capacity or anything!

Wednesbury - Brierley hill is now in dire condition, and in some ways would be better to try to wrangle it off NR and make it tram only.
 
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MetroDriver

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As I mentioned above - Centro have the 'future' plans but cast your minds back to when any of the proposed extentions were first made public.... it has taken literally years just to get the tiny extension to New Street sorted with all the business cases; legal arguments; funding wrangles; objections etc. Nothing is going to move forward for a very long time yet unless the costs of any project suddenly nose-dived and the planning regs were made easier and quicker. i started at Metro back in 2000, and was expecting the Brierley Hill line to have been up and running not long afterwards.... :roll: Successive Governments have until now, made it difficult to move forward. All the currently available proposals would no doubt have to be heavily modified for any future chance at all - much as we at Metro would like to have more routes obviously ;)
 

Mojo

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The Metro really is only a use-it-if-you-have-to service.

Interesting how people's opinions differ, I go on it just for the ride..
I've only ever used the Metro for "just for a ride" but then again I've only ever used it with a Daytripper which I've also bought for leisure travel. The Single and Return fares are extremely expensive.
 

Badger

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That's true. It's only really viable for people with season tickets or a day ticket from other things. I'd like to see cheaper single and returns but I guess it's main ridership aren't going to buy them. Interestingly though they've split the 79 in two - it stops at West Bromwich - so the bus fare for the Metro route is now nearly on par with the Metro fare (assuming the 126 isn't an alternative, so not just Wolf-Brum).
 

mattyb1405

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And scarily expensive when going from Snow Hill to The Hawthorns compared to the train! Plus the annoying wait at St Pauls (?) to get into Snow Hill - annoying bit of single track!
 

MetroDriver

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:( it's getting quite repetitive seeing any mention of Metro end up with negative comments - so it's just as well I'm not rising to the bait after being there 12 years and knowing how some feel. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but any thread on the subject is seen as a 'target' for those who delight in typing simple negativity is beyond me?

I'll furnish this thread with some factual information in response to some of the points made in the last few posts...

To those that see Metro as a "only use it if I have to" service - well done then! We've done something right then by just being there providing the service at that time then :D

Fares - yes an issue for all, including our staff who have to deal with collecting it and issuing tickets. We don't set the fares at all though - I just want to make that crystal clear! Centro decides what fares are on ALL public transport in the West Midlands and provide subsidies for those operators who would need them when running services as demanded by Centro. So if anyone wishes to take up a complaint about fare structures, by all means contact Centro.
They seem to have adopted the notion of a multi-level service and fare structures.... buses are the cheap and cheerful type, but get stuck in traffic delaying their timetables. Our Metro is next up a level - we run quickly along a popular commuting corridor, but Centro see our fares as a 'premium' for that level of service. Local rail is more direct but does not serve all locations and is therefore restrictive.

Single line section into Birmingham Snow Hill from St Pauls:
That section is a legacy from when BSH was rebuilt in the 1980's with that multi-storey car park above. The supporting pillars meant that when BSH was rebuilt for local rail, only a single track could fit under there. When Metro was built, we 'borrowed' the existing trackbed and Platform 4 of the new station and had to squeeze in there as best as could be done. All the subsequent tram stop construction was done knowing that it would not be a permanent fixture - indeed as will happen very soon the whole tramstop will go when the extension opens, and it will be handed back to Network Rail / London Midland. The 'annoying' wait at St Pauls is for safety and signalling reasons to prevent a head-on collision between opposing trams where there is restricted visibility around those car park pillars. I was involved in the safety trials many years ago during the nights, where we deliberately had two trams heading for each other to measure the lines of sight. It was quite shocking to see how close we were to each other (potentially at speeds of up to 50Kph) before visual contact was made - so the restrictions we have today are to stop anything like that happening. Sorry for the delays but we do want to arrive at BSH in one piece with passenger's safety paramount.
 

Deerfold

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We don't set the fares at all though - I just want to make that crystal clear! Centro decides what fares are on ALL public transport in the West Midlands and provide subsidies for those operators who would need them when running services as demanded by Centro. So if anyone wishes to take up a complaint about fare structures, by all means contact Centro.

Centro do not set fares on bus services except on those they tender - and these tend to be set in line with commercial bus fares.
 

mattyb1405

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Single line section into Birmingham Snow Hill from St Pauls:
That section is a legacy from when BSH was rebuilt in the 1980's with that multi-storey car park above. The supporting pillars meant that when BSH was rebuilt for local rail, only a single track could fit under there. When Metro was built, we 'borrowed' the existing trackbed and Platform 4 of the new station and had to squeeze in there as best as could be done. All the subsequent tram stop construction was done knowing that it would not be a permanent fixture - indeed as will happen very soon the whole tramstop will go when the extension opens, and it will be handed back to Network Rail / London Midland. The 'annoying' wait at St Pauls is for safety and signalling reasons to prevent a head-on collision between opposing trams where there is restricted visibility around those car park pillars. I was involved in the safety trials many years ago during the nights, where we deliberately had two trams heading for each other to measure the lines of sight. It was quite shocking to see how close we
were to each other (potentially at speeds of up to 50Kph) before visual contact was made - so the restrictions we have today are to stop anything like that
happening. Sorry for the delays but we do want to arrive at BSH in one piece
with passenger's safety paramount.

Metrodriver, sorry have re-read my comment and it does come over badly
apologies. The point about fares i think is valid - it is expensive if you are
expecting similar to bus / train fares particularly as far as the hawthorns.

With regards the wait yes i should of added a least some context. I use the
metro when the train is late so do appreciate the metro as a back up - not
used regularly tho as i get nwm rail pass only fom Coventry. The annoying in
context should be personal to me and only relates to when getting the metro
and seeing your train go past.

As a side of issue with that wait and some do seem longer than others iis that
down to loading at snow hill, or do some trams get to st pauls quicker, does it
just seem longer etc or is it a mixture?
 

MetroDriver

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As a side of issue with that wait and some do seem longer than others iis that
down to loading at snow hill, or do some trams get to st pauls quicker, does it
just seem longer etc or is it a mixture?

With the current speed restrictions and slight variables in running times yes some do get to St. Pauls tramstop sooner than others. As we only have platform 5 in use at Birmingham Snow Hill it does restrict our running for example in rush-hour when there is an extra tram running, or in the evening when services start to reduce down to the 6 tram operation. We used to be able to run in alongside another tram waiting to depart, but that can't happen for now due to track problems into platform 4. So we have to wait our turn for a slightly longer period during those busier times I'm afraid....
 
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