Birmingham, England

From nycsubway.org

Birmingham's Midlands Metro tram no. 16 at The Hawthorns. Photo by David Pirmann, March 2001.


The "Midland Metro" system serves Birmingham and Wolverhampton, England, and the towns of West Bromwich, Wednesbury and Bilston.

The Midland Metro mainly runs on the former Great Western Railway line. It uses some new, low platforms on one side of Birmingham Snow Hill mainline station, and the old (1987) Platform 4 has been fenced off. There is a street running portion starting west of the Priestfield stop, sharing lanes with traffic into Wolverhampton Town Centre (eliminating all time gained by not running into Wolverhampton mainline station). When accidents occur in this area service past Priestfield on the Wolverhampton section is suspended. In addition, too many stops in unnecessary locations gives the system a feeling of slowness overall.

The low platforms used in the Midland Metro have advantages and disadvantages. The disabled can use the line with ease but the lack of integration with the existing heavy rail lines has failed to relieve Birmingham New Street as the worst rail bottleneck in the United Kingdom.

Initially, fares were collected by buying a ticket on the platform with occasional fare inspection. Unfortunately, the machines had a tendency to malfunction (thus removing the liability for a fine for riding without a ticket) and the removal of that liability encouraged some people to wilfully make the machines malfunction. Now there are conductors on the trams, selling tickets.

The system has not been well-integrated with local bus transit. There is practically no fare integration despite most bus routes being run by the same company. To use a bus pass on the tram, one has to buy an add-on. Needless to say, most people still ride the bus (or those who want to go faster, the main line trains).

Despite the system's flaws, the Councils of the boroughs it runs through want to add a second line and extend the street running section, adding a second street running section in Birmingham City Centre.

The webmaster would like to thank to the staff at the Midland Metro depot who allowed a short tour of the yard and shop facilities.

Route Map


Photos By Location

Photo locations: Wolverhampton St. George's, The Royal, Priestfield, The Crescent, Bilston Center, Loxdale, Bradley Land, Wednesbury Parkway, Wednesbury Great Western St., Depot @ Wednesbury Great Western St., Black Lake, Dudley Street/Guns Village, Dartmouth Street, Lodge Road/West Bromwich Town Hall, West Bromwich Central, Trinity Way, Kenrick Park, The Hawthorns, Handsworth Booth Street, Winson Green Outer Circle, Soho, Benson Road, Jewellery Quarter, St. Paul's, Birmingham Snow Hill

Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 10324

(186k, 1044x788)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: The Hawthorns

Image 10335

(270k, 1044x788)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: Lodge Road/West Bromwich Town Hall

Image 10340

(235k, 1044x788)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: Lodge Road/West Bromwich Town Hall

Image 10354

(163k, 1044x788)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: Wolverhampton St. George's

Image 10355

(167k, 1044x788)
Photo by: David Pirmann
Location: Wolverhampton St. George's

More Images: 1-39

Page Credits

By James Dowden. Route Map by Seth Morgan.

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