THE new West Midlands Combined Authority centred on Birmingham, Britain, is drawing up plans through Transport for West Midlands, which comes into force this month, to expand the rail network under a £4bn 10-year transport investment plan.
THE opening of an extension of the Wolverhampton - Birmingham Midland Metro light rail line to Birmingham New Street station finally took place on May 30 following track remedial works which had forced the postponement of the original opening scheduled for May 22.
TRAMS returned to Birmingham New Street station for the first time since the early 1950s in the early hours of April 24, when a CAF Urbos LRV was used for the first test run on the newly-completed section of the Midland Metro from Bull Street to Stephenson Street.
WEST Midlands transport authority Centro announced on February 12 that it is planning to upgrade Midland Metro's fleet of 21 CAF Urbos low-floor LRVs for catenary-free operation as part of plans to extend the light rail line through Birmingham city centre.
Work on the first phase of Britain's £42.6bn HS2 project to build a 338km high-speed line from London via Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds is set to begin two years from now. As David Briginshaw reports, this was confirmed last month by Britain's newly-elected government.
WEST MIDLANDS transport authority Centro announced on August 14 that its new £40m fleet of CAF Urbos LRVs will be introduced on the Midland Metro on September 5, when the first four vehicles will enter passenger service on the 20km line from Birmingham City Centre to Wolverhampton.
PLANS to expand the Midland Metro light rail network in Birmingham and Wolverhampton have received a boost with the allocation of more than £100m in funding from the British government's Local Growth Fund and the region's three Local Enterprise Partnerships.
THE FIRST of 20 Urbos LRVs being supplied by CAF to West Midlands transport authority Centro for the Midland Metro was formally unveiled by the leader of Birmingham City Council Sir Albert Bore at Wednesbury depot on October 16.