An extension of the Midland Metro tram system in Birmingham to the city’s New Street station is due to open this spring.
Transport authority Centro announced that it had secured permission from Network Rail to complete a period of night testing – a key phase in the commissioning of the £128 million project.
Centro said the system is now on course to open in the spring after receiving early confirmation from Network Rail.
The testing, which will commence on April 23, will ensure that none of the new systems associated with the tram network interfere with train management systems at New Street station.
Centro’s Metro programme director, Phil Hewitt, said: “The only way we can carry out this work is by getting a possession, when no trains are running, from Network Rail and we are grateful to them for speeding up the process and cutting the length of time you usually have to wait.
“This is a crucial piece of work because once done it clears the way for us to carry out the final testing, commissioning of, and staff training for the new extension. Once that process is completed we can start running trams down to New Street Station.”
Trams began operating from Snow Hill to Bull Street in December. Works were scaled back on the project over Christmas to reduce the impact on Christmas shoppers.