National Express Midland Metro
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National Express Midland Metro Tram heading towards Wolverhampton
|Parent||National Express Group|
|Founded||30 May 1999|
|Locale||Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Sandwell,|
|Service area||West Midlands|
|Destinations||Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Sandwell,|
|Operator||National Express West Midlands|
|Website||National Express Midland Metro|
National Express Midland Metro is the name of the company that operates the tram system between Birmingham and Wolverhampton in the UK. Midland Metro is a fully owned subsidiary of the National Express Group, who also owns the local bus company National Express West Midlands. The National Express Midland Metro brand name and logo are not carried on trams and on most publicity, just 'the Metro' branding with the exception of the latest printed timetable. National Express Midland Metro does not own the Midland Metro: it is owned by Centro, the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive.
It was originally built and operated by Altram, a consortium now wholly owned by National Express. Midland Metro was specified and financed by Centro. The operating company was previously named Travel Midland Metro in keeping with National Express's previous naming structure to subsidiary companies.
The on-street extension in Birmingham city centre is currently under construction and will be operational by 2015. A fleet of 20 new trams are on order and the following changes are planned:
The introduction of Smartcard technology
Upgrades to existing tram stops
Measures to tackle metal and cable theft
Enhanced safety and security
Opportunities for more Park and Ride facilities
Enhanced links with local bus services
National Express will continue to operate the existing and extended system until the end of the concession in 2018, at which time the system will be retendered.
The Metro operates from 0443 until 0029 Monday-Friday with a frequency of every 10 minutes off-peak, at evenings and weekends the frequency is every 15 minutes. This equates to 1.67 million km operated per annum.
National Express are responsible for: Day-to-day running of the tram system - ensuring a safe and punctual service. Operating the control centre. Signalling on off-street sections and linking in with Wolverhampton's Urban Traffic Control Centre when using on-street sections. Ticket sales at Travel Shops and on board with customer service personnel. Security - participation in 'Park Mark' and 'Safer Tram Stop' accreditation. Maintenance and landscaping of tram stops. Light and heavy maintenance of the vehicles and infrastructure. Liaison with Centro on planning, designing and constructing the Birmingham City Centre extension although Centro are responsible for procuring this.
The system is operated by 16 Ansaldo T69 trams, of which 12 are required to operate the service.
- Midland Metro Official site
- The official site of the National Express Group
- Network West Midlands Metro Page