|Light Rail Transit Association
Light Rail for better public transport
16 December 2012: Oldham line extended to Shaw and Compton
6 December 2012: Droylsden line to open in February
5 November 2012: New bridge moved into place over M60 for airport line
22 October 2012: Rochdale line progress
10 October 2012: Droylsden line dynamic tram testing
17 July 2012: All change for Metrolink’s tram fleet
13 June 2012: Oldham line open
On 16 December 2012 the Oldham line service was extended to Derker and Shaw & Crompton. Journey time to Manchester city centre will be less than 30 minutes.
Shaw and Crompton will have more than 40 parking spaces, plans are being developed to provide additional parking in the future. Initially 100 new park and ride spaces will be available at Derker, while work to provide a further 154 spaces continues.
TfGM have announced that the new Metrolink line to Droylsden will open to passengers on 11 February 2013. There will be eight new stops: New Islington, Holt Town, Etihad Campus, Velopark, Clayton Hall, Edge Lane, Cemetery Road and Droylsden.
The initial service will be from Droylsden to Manchester Piccadilly then Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street, Shudehill, Manchester Victoria and all stops on the Bury line. Trams will run every 12 minutes and take around 20 minutes from Droylsden to Piccadilly.
To thank the community for its patience during the construction of the street–running sections of the new line, residents from Clayton to Droylsden will be able to use the new line for free over the three days leading up to the launch. Households in the catchment area will be sent more details closer to the time. TfGM will also contact local schools to arrange for classes to travel at specific times on the tram for supervised trips before the line opens to the public.
During a scheduled 24 hour closure from 22:00 hours on Saturday 3 November; a new 580-tonne bridge was moved into place over the M60, south of the existing Fairy Lane overbridge between junctions 5 and 6.
This single span superstructure was specifically designed to be installed during a single motorway closure.
The work was finished a full eight hours early, drivers were back on the road by 14:00 hours on Sunday 4 November.
6 December 2012: M56 bridge
A second bridge was moved into position over the M56 during a scheduled 24 hour closure from 22:00 hours on Saturday 24 November.
See the New Bridges over Motorways page for more details and pictures.
Testing is underway on the line north from Oldham Mumps. Trams have now crossed the new road junction at Oldham Mumps under power.
TfGM is working towards opening the new line to Shaw & Crompton first, potentially starting early in the New Year. This would not cause any delay in opening to Rochdale Rail Station which is expected to be a few months later.
Reports indicate that testing is also taking place to the north of Shaw & Crompton.
Pictures of early hours testing on 19th October and afternoon pictures of a double tram parked at Milnrow on 21st October are on Testing on Rochdale line pictures page (311KB download).
In the early hours of 9 October, the first stage took place. A tram ran to Droylsden and back with a GM Police escort and under the supervision of the testing team. This involved checks to ensure the tram operating system is fully functional and interacting with traffic signalled junctions correctly. There were minor road restrictions, for a very short period of time, as the tram passed through the junctions.
After the junctions are checked, further dynamic testing with trams will be carried out during the daytime without the need for a GM Police escort.
Driver route training will follow successful dynamic testing from late October. This training will occur during the daytime and will ensure drivers are familiar with the new route and its junctions, signals and stops prior to opening to the public.
The Firema T68 & T68a trams have proved to be less reliable than the new M5000 trams. In September 2011 it was decided to accelerate their replacement. 12 more M5000s were ordered. In June & July 2012 GMCA and TfGMC agreed to replace the rest. An order for a further 20 new M5000s will now be placed. A number of T68s have been withdrawn from service.
Metrolink was officially opened on 17 July 1992. Transport chiefs have marked the anniversary by announcing that all remaining T68/T68a trams will be replaced by 2014.
On 13 June 2012, after running a ghost service for one week, the Oldham line opened to the public. The first tram left Manchester Victoria at 05:24 calling at all stops to Oldham Mumps. Then at 06:00 it returned to Manchester Victoria, continuing to Chorlton. Journey time from Mumps to Manchester city centre will be around 25 minutes. Services will run every 12 minutes, in both directions, between Oldham Mumps and St. Werburgh’s Road on the Chorlton line.
The line will be extended to Rochdale later in 2012. Oldham and Rochdale town centre sections are expected to open in 2014.
For more information see the Oldham and Rochdale, City Centre and City South pages.
News 2012: top of page
This page was written by Tony Williams, Manchester Area Officer, Light Rail Transit Association. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments, ideas or suggestions about these pages.