West midlands metro set to double fleet
2 Minute Read
The number of trams on the West Midlands Metro is set to double after contracts worth £83.5m were signed for new vehicles to be delivered.
The first of the 21 third generation Urbos trams are due to enter service in 2021 after the new agreements were signed between operator West Midlands Metro, which is owned by the West Midlands Combined Authority, and manufacturer CAF.
The deal includes the new trams as well as technical support and battery management services over 30 years, with an option to purchase a further 29 trams as the network grows.
Mayor Andy Street said: “These new trams are a real game-changer for our expanding West Midlands Metro network and I am delighted we have put pen to paper with CAF.
“These next generation trams are battery powered, designed to operate on new sections of the line between Grand Central and Hagley Road, which are free of overhead cables.
“Our existing fleet of CAF trams already provide excellent service for thousands of travellers a day on the current Metro line, and these are also being modified with the installation of on-board batteries.”
Awarded following a thorough tendering process, if the additional trams are ordered, the contract could more than treble the number of trams operating in the West Midlands, bringing the total size of the fleet to more than 70.
Richard Garner, CAF’s UK director, added: “CAF is delighted to have been selected to provide additional state-of-the-art Urbos trams for this ground-breaking UK Metro line.
“The CAF Urbos tram will be the first example of battery technology being used in a high intensity passenger service here in the UK.
“The Urbos modern, spacious design will provide passengers with a quiet, smooth and comfortable travel experience.”