New trams for Centro

The next generation of Centro’s tram fleet looks like its being built in Spain.

CAF has been chosen as preferred bidder for the Midland Metro’s new fleet. The new fleet of 25 Urbos 3 trams, costing approximately £40 million, will replace the current 16-strong fleet.

Extra capacity will be needed to accommodate expected growth once the extension between Snow Hill and New Street via Bull Street, Corporation Street, and Stephenson Street is open.

The new trams will start running from late 2014 on the current route from Snow Hill to Wolverhampton, with the Midland Metro extension from Birmingham Snow Hill to Birmingham New Street station coming on line in 2015.

Says Geoff Inskip, chief executive of Centro, ‘This is an important milestone in the delivery of a world class integrated transport network. Linking the £600m investment New Street station with the Jewellery Quarter, and the Black Country will stimulate our local economy.’

CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocariles) is based in Zaragoza, Spain and produces trams and trains which operate on a number of systems around the world. CAF supplies Class 332 trains for the Heathrow Express and 64 Class 333 trains for Northern Rail.

The Urbos 3 is a five section air-conditioned tram with a passenger capacity of approximately 200, compared to 156 on the current trams. The Midland Metro runs between Wolverhampton and Birmingham Snow Hill station via Bilston, Wednesbury and West Bromwich.

Says Antonio Campos CAF’s commercial director, ‘CAF is thrilled to be part of this prestigious project and believes the Urbos 3 trams will provide an enhanced travel experience for the people of Birmingham and the West Midlands.’

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