IN FOCUS WEST MIDLANDS
WEST MIDLANDS ORGANISATIONS ARE COMING TOGETHER TO PROMOTE THE CONCEPT OF A LOWER-COST ALTERNATIVE TO CONVENTIONAL TRAMS
Trams have transformed many large cities. But perhaps the reason no new systems have been built in the UK since Edinburgh Trams opened in 2014 is precisely due to the troubles suffered by that project – overruns of time and cost.
Very Light Rail is seeking to tackle these issues. In the middle of the last decade WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick initiated the VLR programme with the aim of developing a lower cost solution for both heavy rail branch lines and city tram networks. Coventry City Council embraced the VLR concept and is seeking to open a network of tram lines using this new technology from 2025. And, completing the neat West Midlands symmetry to this story, a VLR innovation centre is being built at Dudley by the newly formed Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO).