All metro trams withdrawn from service for inspection after identification of a defect

Twenty-one streetcars were taken out of service on Friday morning until further notice after the automaker identified cracks in the frame structure at each end of the streetcar.

Streetcar inspections have started and will continue throughout the weekend and will be completed by Monday, then Midland Metro will decide when to resume service.

Tube tickets and passes will be valid on certain alternative modes of transport, including certain bus services, West Midlands Railway and Avanti train services.

Steve McAleavy, Managing Director of Midland Metro Ltd, said: “First of all, I want to say how sorry we are for the inconvenience the suspension has caused to the many people who rely on West Midlands metro services on a daily basis. .

“The Metro team did a remarkable job during the pandemic to continue to provide safe and reliable services, so it’s a big disappointment that we have had to put services on hold as people travel with more confidence.

“We have a fleet of CAF Urbos 3 trams and the manufacturer of these trams during a maintenance inspection identified cracks in the frame structure at each end of the tram. The CAF could not assure us that the cracks were not a safety concern if we continued to operate.

“Our first priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues and therefore the right thing to do was to take the trams out of service during inspections.

“The inspections have already started and will continue throughout the weekend and will be completed by Monday. Once the inspections are complete, we can decide when we can resume service.

“We will keep everyone in the know via social media and post updates as we have more information.”

Eight new trams were recently imported from Spain as part of a multi-million pound network expansion. Work has been underway in Wolverhampton city center in recent years to extend the tube line to the reconstructed station.

A West Midlands Metro statement earlier on Friday said: “Following maintenance checks, CAF, the manufacturer of the Urbos 3 trams used on the West Midlands metro, informed us of a defect affecting a small number of our trams . their conclusions, we have taken the decision to withdraw the entire fleet from service to allow inspection of all trams.

“At no time was the safety of customers or staff compromised. This is a temporary and precautionary measure that we have taken to ensure that the service can continue to operate safely and efficiently in the future. We are currently working alongside CAF to restore service as soon as possible. .

“We are sorry for any inconvenience this will cause. Alternative services are detailed below and arrangements are in place to ensure that our customers can always travel safely and reliably in the region.

“All tube tickets will be valid on bus service 79 between Wolverhampton – West Bromwich and Birmingham. Passengers can also use train services between Birmingham Snow Hill, the Jewelery Quarter and The Hawthorns as well as train services between Wolverhampton and Birmingham New Street.

“The builder has already started inspections on the tram fleet and Metro’s engineering team is working closely with them so that services can resume as quickly as possible. We will keep customers fully informed through our website and our social networks. “

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Jennifer Amaro

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