Midland Metro’s original tram fleet up for sale
Transport for the West Midlands is selling its original fleet of Ansaldo T69 trams, which operated on Line One of Midland Metro between Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton St George’s from 1999 until their replacement in 2014.
The vehicles are to be sold via an e-auction on January 29, with 15 trams currently in store at Long Marston up for disposal. Tram 16, which remains in store at Midland Metro’s Wednesbury depot, is not included in the sale.
Sixteen T69 trams were built for Midland Metro by Ansaldo, although the first example (Tram 01) was taken out of service as far back as 2006 and used as a source of spares. This was followed three years later by Tram 02, which was also extensively stripped for spare parts.
The main withdrawals of the fleet came in 2013 and 2014, when they were replaced by a new fleet of 21 CAF Urbos 3 trams.
A number of the trams were stored in serviceable condition, although most were in need of bodywork overhauls due to panel corrosion, while many had scrap tyres fitted on their bogies.
TfWM has stated that there is no reserve set on the sale price of the vehicles, and it is possible that this could lead to them being acquired for possible further use elsewhere, or be purchased for scrapping. Only registered companies are eligible to bid for the vehicles.
Since their withdrawal from service a number of possible further uses have been suggested for the vehicles, but none of these has come to fruition and whether they have a working future remains to be seen.
Councillor Roger Lawrence, the West Midlands Combined Authority’s lead member for transport, said: “They’ve got more than a few thousand miles on the clock, but in their time the T69 trams were excellent servants for the Midland Metro. They are mostly still serviceable, so the auction is a good chance for someone to get themselves a bargain.”