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Manchester Metrolink News 2019

31 March 2019: Rochdale town centre extension fifth anniversary
22 March 2019: Trafford Park Line – Special event
20 March 2019: Major Metrolink mileage magic
28 January 2019: Ashton Line – Twice the trams, half the wait
27 January 2019: Oldham town centre line fifth anniversary
13 January 2019: Metrolink fares, new zone system


31 March 2019: Rochdale town centre extension fifth anniversary

This extension provided around 1km of street-running track along Drake Street to link the Rochdale Railway Station stop with the new Rochdale Town Centre stop on Smith Street.

The first service to leave the Smith Street stop did so at 05:53 on Monday 31 March 2014, just three months on from the Oldham town centre extension which saw an additional four stops open on the Oldham-Rochdale line.

This development of the line has seen patronage on it steadily increase over the last five years, with the 6,087,000 journeys recorded in 2018 more than doubling the 3,018,000 recorded in 2013.

Around 24,500 tram passenger journeys are now being made to Rochdale town centre every month, boosting access to retail, leisure and employment opportunities as well as bus services from the town’s interchange.

And Metrolink’s iconic trams have ‘clocked-up’ over 10,000,000 kilometres between Manchester city centre (Victoria stop) and Rochdale Town Centre since the extension opened, with nearly 295,000 kilometres between the Rochdale Railway Station and Rochdale Town Centre stops alone.

22 March 2019: Trafford Park Line – Special event

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L-R Cllr Mark Aldred, Chair of the TfGM Committee, Andy Pritchard, Senior Project Manager MPT, intu Trafford Centre Regional Centre Director, Alison Niven and Cllr Mike Cordingley, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Finance
Picture courtesy of TfGM

Political, transport and commercial leaders gathered at intu Trafford Centre to view the latest exciting progress made on Metrolink’s Trafford Park Line extension. They included those pictured at the final stop on the new line.

The event was held to demonstrate the construction progress made on the line’s six new stops over the last few months. Platforms and shelters have been installed at five of the stops, with the final platform due to be lifted into place next month near EventCity. Contractor MPact-Thales (MPT) has laid approximately 60% of the track for the new line and will soon start to install the overhead lines and associated equipment to power the trams.

The £350m Trafford Park Line extension, which is due to open in the first half of 2020, will add a further 5.5km and six stops to Metrolink, already the UK’s largest light rail network. The new line is being funded by Greater Manchester’s Devolution Deal, which was signed by the city-region’s leaders in 2014. Trafford Council is providing £20m towards the project.

20 March 2019: Major Metrolink mileage magic

It’s one million not out for Metrolink today as the 3006 tram became the first to clock up a landmark distance.

The vehicle, which was first introduced to the network in February 2010, moved into seven figures worth of kilometres this afternoon as it pulled into Altrincham.

The occasion was marked with a special message from the driver Ady Leigh as well as a celebratory one-off message on the vehicle’s electronic display.

It takes the total distance travelled by the current 120-tram Metrolink fleet to over 73.5 million km, which is the equivalent of just under 6000 full journeys around planet Earth.

Metrolink is one of the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly ways to get around Greater Manchester; trams emit no harmful emissions and are powered by renewable and green energy sources – which is vitally important as the city-region looks to clean-up the air we breathe. Each tram can carry over 200 passengers – equal to nearly three double-decker buses – and uses far less fuel per passenger than cars or buses.

28 January 2019: Ashton Line – Twice the trams, half the wait

From Monday 28 January trams, which previously terminated at Etihad Campus – returning to Manchester city centre and MediaCityUK, will continue to Ashton–under–Lyne. This will give a six minute interval service, instead of the former twelve minute interval service.

Halving the average waiting time to three minutes, makes Metrolink a more attractive transport option and enables more people to access leisure, educational, cultural and employment opportunities.

Boosting the number of services to meet demand supports the aims of Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s ‘Congestion Deal’, which was launched last year.

Encouraging more people to take up tram travel will also contribute towards the aims of the region’s Clean Air Plan, which is currently under development.The plan will set out how we can tackle harmful levels of roadside air pollution across the city-region.

27 January 2019 : Oldham town centre line fifth anniversary,

Metrolink’s popular Oldham town centre line celebrated its fifth anniversary with an impressive track record.

Around 60,000 tram passenger journeys are being made to Oldham town centre every month, boosting access to jobs, shops, cafes and restaurants and local attractions including the traditional Tommyfield Market and popular Oldham Coliseum Theatre.

The new street-running tram line brought vital transport links to the heart of Oldham town centre when it opened on 27 January 2014.

6.1 million passenger journeys were made on the Oldham and Rochdale tram line in 2018, five times more than on the rail service it replaced.

13 January 2019: Metrolink fares, new zone system

New Metrolink ticket zones launched on Sunday 13 January 2019. They have replaced 8,500 stop-to-stop fare combinations with simpler, more flexible and better value zone-based fares.

See Metrolink ticket zones on the TfGM web site for more details.

Phase one TVMs sold zone based tickets, passengers had to consult nearby information to see which zone contained their destination. Those old zones persisted behind the scenes, with additional zones added as the system expanded, although they were not visible to passengers.

More about the history of Fares and Zones; see Ticket Vending Machines on the Stops page.


News 2019: top of page

This page was written by Tony Williams. Contact manwebm@lrta.org if you have any comments, ideas or suggestions about these pages.