UK: The Midland Metro Alliance has installed the first section of track in Digbeth as part of the Eastside light rail extension.
Running from Bull Street in Birmingham’s city centre via the future High Speed 2 terminus at Curzon Street to Digbeth, the 1·7 km extension will add four tram stops to the West Midlands Metro network. More than half of the route is intended to be catenary-free.
Construction near the future Digbeth terminus began in mid-2021, but was briefly suspended while the city hosted the 2022 Commonwealth Games in July and August. Following the resumption of work, a 45 m section of double track was laid in between Meriden Street and Digbeth High Street during an overnight road closure.
The project includes urban realm works as part of a masterplan promoted by Birmingham City Council and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. These include public and green spaces together with improvements to walking and public transport provision.
‘I’m really pleased to see that good progress is being made on the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension’, said Liz Clements, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport. ‘Not only is it a significant milestone, it allows people to visualise what the area will look like when the trams are in operation. This Metro extension is a key part of Birmingham’s response to the challenge of climate change and this new route will provide a sustainable option for travel across the city.’