The Midland Metro Alliance has laid the first tram track for the Wolverhampton city centre extension of the West Midlands Metro.
The major milestone saw 36m of track laid in Pipers Row, with work now progressing to take the tram system to Wolverhampton railway station.
Cllr Roger Lawrence, leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “Nearly eight million journeys a year are now made on the Metro but this extension also has a key role to play in unlocking further investment and jobs, not just in Wolverhampton but across the wider Black Country, enabling us to open up new areas for redevelopment and underpinning our long term ambitions for jobs and prosperity.
“The Wolverhampton Interchange project is all part of getting the right transport infrastructure in place to improve connectivity and ensure the city is ready to capitalise on the arrival of HS2 in a just a few years’ time.”
Construction of the extension, which will see the tram system serve two additional stops – one at the city’s bus station on Pipers Row and one at the station, which is set to be demolished as part of a £150 million regeneration project – is set to be complete in late summer 2018.
The Midland Metro was rebranded as the West Midlands Metro on June 24 when the operation of the system was passed over from National Express to the Midland Metro Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of West Midlands Combined Authority.