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For two days in July 2002 a new station appeared on the Metro Line in West Bromwich between Wednesbury and Wednesbury Parkway. Earth North Central was marked on all the maps in all the trains as a connecting station for the Moon and nearby planets.

On this new station three astronauts waited, in space suits, with helmets and boxes, for their connection to take them off the planet, to complete their onward journey to Mars. After waiting on the platform for two days, reading newspapers, knitting, talking to the local youths, growing excited as every fresh train approached, disappointed as it passed by without stopping, the travellers were at last picked up by the space tram and left West Bromwich with a triumphant farewell speech ringing in their ears.

Notes for Midlands Metro.
As part of Jubilee Arts' Platforms project, passengers travelling on the Birmingham-Wolverhampton Metro line will see that a new station has appeared, just beyond Wednesbury Park. This station, 'Earth North Central', is for the use of astronauts and other space travellers wishing to commute between West Bromwich and the rest of the solar system. Unfortunately, these routes are not covered by the Metro One Day Travel pass.

It's possible that passengers on the trams will have questions about the station particularly as we hope to alter the Metro maps on the trams to include the new station. They may ask Metro staff what's going on. If you wish to join in with our story we'd be delighted but please don't feel pressurised. If you want to play along with the project we suggest the following for starters (but only if you feel up for it):

Drivers: At the station before Earth North Central, following the recorded announcement on the trams telling passengers about the next stop, it would be fantastic if you announced on the manual system something like: 'this tram not stopping at Earth North Central'

Conductors: Just in case you are asked questions by the public, here is some information about the new 'service':

This is part of the integrated transport system that will hopefully eventually link up with the rest of the Milky Way.

Cost of tickets: Off peak maximum £25,000 sorry no 4 Venusian blats accepted.

Stops on the route: Mercury, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Neptune, Uranus, Pluto.

Regularity of Service: Pretty irregular at the moment to be honest but eventually the plan is for it to be one per hour.

Post: People can post cards into space from a postbox on Wednesbury Parkway Station or email them to space@stanscafe.co.uk. They are guaranteed a reply.

Have fun with it & thanks again,

Amanda, Sarah, Paula & James
from Stan's Cafe

Astronauts: Sarah Dawson, Amanda Hadingue, Paula Witig
Crew: Johnny O'Hanlon & Benny Semp
Audio: Jon Ward
Station Construction: Stan's Cafe
Devised by: Amanda Hadingue & James Yarker
Photographs: Ed Dimsdale
Administration: Emily Dawkes
Commissioned by: Trevor Pitt for Jubilee Art's Platforms Project
With Thanks to: Midland Metro

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