CAF has been selected to supply an additional 21 Urbos trams with capability for catenary-free operation to the UK’s West Midlands Metro under an EUR83.5m (EUR93.6m) deal.
The contract, announced on 7 October, doubles the size of the current fleet (delivered from 2012) and includes options for a further 29 trams, technical support, battery management and spares over a 30-year term.
The first of the ‘third-generation’ trams is due for delivery in late 2021 and will be required as the system expands. Annual passenger numbers have risen from five to seven million following the opening of the extension to Grand Central in 2016. The first phase of the new Westside Extension to Centenary Square is expected to open later this year, with the full route to Hagley Road scheduled for 2021.
The line to Wolverhampton Station is on schedule to open in 2020, and work is soon to begin on the 11km (6.8-mile) extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill.
CAF began a Li-ion battery retrofitment programme for the existing fleet in 2018.