Minister of State for Rail and HS2 Visits BCIMO

19 Feb 2024

Published in: Member News

The Minister of State for Rail and HS2, Huw Merriman, visited the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO) on Thursday 15th January to get a taste of what the future of light rail transport looks like.

Huw Merriman was joined by Dudley North MP Marco Longhi, Dudley Council Leader Patrick Harley, Coventry City Council’s Director of Transport and Highways Colin Knight and BCIMO’s Chief Executive Officer Neil Fulton, for a tour of the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC) and a ride on the pioneering Coventry Very Light Rail (CVLR) vehicle, which is being tested at the centre’s Rail Development and Test Site.

The centre, which is based next to the new Wednesbury To Brierley Hill Metro Extension at Castle Hill in Dudley, West Midlands, has been home to the CVLR project since its arrival on-site in 2022.

Since then a series of testing activity has been undertaken, including the installation of the project’s novel track form in October 2023 enabling integrated system testing to take place, to prove its suitability for the needs of Coventry and other small cities / large towns as the project is developed.