Members’ Day – Dudley VLR Innovation Centre

Visit to Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre

The day started with a visit to the VLR National Innovation Centre. This started at 1100, and lasted about three hours.

  • The programme included:
  • Welcome and LRTA Introduction
  • Presentation about VLR Concept
  • Tour of the workshop and testing facilities
  • An opportunity to see the test track

The centre is located close to the Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Zoo. The address is:
Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre
Zoological Drive

For those arriving by public transport, the nearest rail station is Tipton, which is about a mile and a quarter away. Half-hourly bus route 229 stops close to Tipton Station. Alternatively, bus routes 11 and 11A run about every 10 minutes, and provide a link from Wednesbury (for tram connections to/from Birmingham and Wolverhampton).

At the time of our visit, the centre was still officially be a construction site (final handover is expected a few weeks later). Hence, all participants were required to wear stout walking boots (or boots/shoes with steel toecaps). A limited supply of hi-visibility jackets and hard hats were available (although if you can bring your own, that would be helpful).

Study Tour of West Midlands Metro Extensions

For those who want to spend a little longer in the area, we have also arranged an optional afternoon activity.  Following the formal visit, Mike Ballinger (the local LRTA area officer) led a study tour of various West Midlands Metro extensions currently under construction.  Travelling by bus, train and tram, we intend to look at the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill line, together with the Birmingham Eastside and Birmingham Westside extensions.  There is no charge for the study tour, although participants will need to hold a valid travel ticket.