The Anonymous Widower

Brummies Go For Battery Trams

The Midland Metro has several extensions in the planning stage and this article in Global Rail News is entitled Approval for catenary-free trams in Birmingham.

So the Metro’s Urbos 3 trams will be fitted with batteries to allow them to travel without the need for overhead wires on extensions to the current system.

It is not new unproven technology as the trams’ builder; CAF have buuilt battery-powered Urbos 3 trams for Seville some years ago. They are also used in Cadiz and Zaragoza.

The article in Global Rail News says this.

Birmingham will be the first city in the UK to use the technology. The batteries will be fitted to the roof of the vehicles and recharge when the tram moves back under the wires.

Routes identified for catenary-free operation include the entire Birmingham Centenary Square extension, the Birmingham-Edgbaston extension, the Birmingham Eastside extension, which will stop at the future Curzon Street HS2 station, and the Wolverhampton city centre extension.

Removing the need for overhead lines on these routes will save £650,000, ITA has said. However, the cost of procuring and installing the batteries isn’t yet known.

As Edinburgh Trams also use the same Urbos 3 trams, I wonder if Edinburgh will use similar technology to extend their tram system. The city had a lot of trouble putting up the wires, so surely a system without them may save money and time on the construction.

after the order for Arriva Rail North’s New Trains, CAF seem to be doing well in the UK.

Where will their battery trams be seen next?

It would have to be on a new system, rather than an update to an existing one.

But I do think, that Blackpool’s proposed extension to Blackpool North station could use Bombardier’s version of the battery technology.

This video on YouTube shows Bombardier’s Primove system. It’s probably more advanced than the CAF system.


February 12, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | ,


  1. […] The Midland Metro is also showing the way for its extension, by using battery power through the historic centre. […]

    Pingback by Edinburgh Tram’s Elaborate Catenary « The Anonymous Widower | June 22, 2016 | Reply

  2. […] February 2016 I wrote Brummies Go For Battery Trams and now it is envisaged that Midland Metro‘s trams will be running services under battery […]

    Pingback by The Third-Rail Tram-Train « The Anonymous Widower | April 14, 2017 | Reply

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