West Midlands halts trams after discovery of cracks

Tram services in the West Midlands have been suspended after cracks have been suspended after cracks were discovered on a number of vehicles.

It’s the second time this year that tram services have been halted because of concerns about cracks affecting vehicle chassis. Temporary repairs were carried out in June, but latest inspections have found that more extensive and permanent repairs are now required.

Services were suspended on Saturday November 13, and West Midlands Metro officials are now working alongside Spanish tram manufacturer CAF to understand the issues and carry out the repairs as quickly as possible.

A statement from West Midlands Metro said: “At this time we are unable to confirm when services will resume, but we expect it will take at least four weeks. We have taken this difficult decision to ensure services can continue to run safely and reliably in the future.”

It’s thought that some trams have already received permanent repairs, while additional vehicles delivered earlier this year as part of a new contract with CAF are being prepared to enter service. That’s expected to clear the way for driver training and testing on the new extension, although the trams will clearly be running without carrying passengers.

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  • Güntürk Üstün - 25/11/2021 01:36

    West Midlands Metro [which is the region’s popular and growing tram network, operated by Midland Metro Limited (MML)] customers normally bothered by the recent tram service suspension (due to discovered cracks -second time in 2021- affecting some of the current 21 CAF Urbos 3 sets' chassis) are being encouraged to make plans to use alternative modes of transport to complete their journey. This seems to be a very strange and thought-provoking situation because Transport for West Midlands have already signed a contract in 2019 with CAF to supply an additional 21 Urbos trams for the West Midlands Metro, with the option for a further 29 trams dependent on progress on expanding the system. The £83.5 million deal was signed after a tendering process with Alstom, Bombardier and Skoda also being considered. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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