Green light given for very light rail project

Plans to build a multi-million pound innovation hub to revolutionise the worldwide development of very light rail technology have been approved.

Dudley Council in partnership with Warwick Manufacturing Group submitted a planning application at the end of last year.  The application for the new very light rail innovation centre included a pedestrian foot bridge which links the building to Tipton Road, the future Metro line and car parking.

The innovation centre will be at the heart of revolutionising very light rail technology and will see Dudley leading the way globally.

When built, the new building will include meeting rooms, laboratories, teaching facilities, exhibition and conference space, a large engineering workshop and 2km test track which will include test platforms.

Research at the hub will investigate ways to reduce the weight and cost of railcars and track, enabling the creation of lower-cost connections between suburban and rural areas and providing a cheaper alternative to heavy rail and traditional ‘Metro’ urban transport systems. Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said:

“This is fantastic news.  The development of the very light rail innovation hub is a key driver in the regeneration of Dudley town centre and the borough as a whole. We’ve talked about this project for a long time and having reached this key milestone we can begin to turn plans into reality. 

"With work expected to start on site in the coming months, I’m excited about what this means for Dudley and the opportunity it brings to create a product that will see us lead the field in the global development of very light rail technology – a significant boost to the local economy.”

A separate planning application for the test track was submitted to the council’s planning department at the end of October and was also recently approved. The test track will be located along approximately 2km of disused railway line.

Earlier this year, the council was awarded £18million by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership towards the cost of the project. 


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'