Click on the map to navigate to Metro Stop pages
Now, those of you with a keen eye will have noticed that the Regional Map shows all the ex-GWR
stations to the North of Snow Hill in blue text, indicating that they are disused/demolished: this
isn't exactly true. My concentration on this site is with traditional mainline railways and branch
lines that are/were part of the public transport network. For example, I haven't covered the plethora
of industrial railways which once operated in the region. However the Midland Metro, though not
strictly fitting within the scope of this site, is interesting as it is not a purely road-based
tramway - it utilises the ex-GWR trackbed out of Snow Hill and some of the sites of stations on
that route which have been disused since the closure of the line in 1972.
The service began on the 30th May 1999, although proposed in 1988 for a 1992 envisaged opening,
with the total cost for the work being £145 million. The line is operated by T69 tramcars built by
Ansaldo Transporti of Italy (who also provided signalling and control equipment) powered by pantograph
pick-up from overhead cabling. ALTRAM, a consortium combining John Laing Construction and Asnaldo
Tansporti, have a 23 year lease on the system and were
responsible for its design and construction (the latter being physically undertaken by John Laing plc).
The operating of the system lies with Travel Midland Metro, a division of Travel West Midlands who are the
local bus operators.
The 12.7 mile route, more correctly known as Line 1, was originally planned to be augmented by a Line
2 from Five Ways to Birmingham International Airport and a Line 3 from Wolverhampton to Dudley via
Walsall. However, various problems led to the second and third phases not happening, and indeed to
Taylor-Woodrow, who originally signed-up to the project, dropping out of the partnership with Asnaldo altogether to be replaced by John Laing
Construction. There appears to be an air of uncertainty surrounding whether or not the other two lines
will be completed: the line from Wolverhampton to Dudley still gets regularly mooted but as to if and when
it will see the light of day, the jury is currently out.
Although some old station sites are used - Soho, Handsworth, West Bromwich
and Wednesbury Central - the sites were completely gutted before building
began to turn them into Metro stops. The line is, however, worth checking out as it does pass the
sites of several long-gone stations on what was once a prestige GWR main line. The map at the top
of this page, as with the Regional Map in the railways section of the site, provides links to
a page for each stop on the Metro route between Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton St Georges.
However, with the stops only opening in 1999 there is hardly a plethora of information upon which
to draw to put onto each page. Therefore, each page will largely be a collection of photographs
with some supporting text as to the site as it is presently, except in the case of overlap with
the sites of old stations in which case I will provide more detail. As with the main Regional Map,
I have yet to get around all the Metro stops so until I do, the map above will depict which ones
have been completed.