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Manchester Metrolink News 2016

2 December 2016: Award-winning partnership to continue for Trafford Park line
1 December 2016: Second City Crossing, first test tram
13 October 2016: Trafford Park line approved
28 August 2016: New St Peter’s Square stop in use
26 June 2016: St Peter’s Square & Eccles Line — Summer Closures

2 December 2016: Award-winning partnership to continue for Trafford Park line

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) will continue its award-winning collaboration with MPact Thales (MPT) and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to deliver the Metrolink extension to intu Trafford Centre via Trafford Park.

At a meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), council leaders gave the green light for TfGM to continue the contracts with MPact Thales, various utilities and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff for the delivery and management of the scheme to design and construct the line

MPT is a consortium of VolkerRail, Laing O’Rourke and Thales. VolkerRail and Laing O’Rourke will continue to be responsible for the design and construction of the civil engineering and track, while Thales will deliver the tram operating systems and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff will continue as TfGM’s Delivery Partner.

This partnership has already successfully delivered extensions to MediaCityUK, Manchester Airport, Ashton, East Didsbury, Oldham and Rochdale and is currently putting the finishing touches to the Second City Crossing.

1 December 2016: Second City Crossing, first test tram

Test tram 1 December 2016 (41KB)
A double test tram running from Corporation Street onto Cross Street
Picture courtesy of TfGM

Metrolink ran the first test tram along the Second City Crossing (2CC), through the heart of Manchester city centre, in the early hours of Thursday 1st December.

2CC connects St Peter’s Square tram stop with Exchange Square stop and Victoria Station. It runs via Princess Street, Cross Street and Corporation Street.

The first phase of 2CC opened from Victoria to Exchange Square stop in December 2015. This was fast-tracked thanks to the European Regional Development Fund. It enables a six-minute interval daytime service between Shaw and Crompton, Oldham and the city centre from Monday to Saturdays.

When fully open early next year, this new line will allow Metrolink to run more frequent tram services through the city centre and across the 93-stop network.

The testing and commissioning process, to check all the infrastructure, will continue after the busy festive period. Drivers will undertake training to familiarise themselves with the new route.

As preparations continue, there will be changes to some local road layouts. Pedestrians and all road users are urged to be mindful and aware when travelling in the area.

A major marketing and information campaign is planned early next year to prepare customers for the tram service changes when the new city centre line opens – including the long-anticipated extension of Manchester Airport services beyond Cornbrook to Deansgate-Castlefield.

13 October 2016: Trafford Park line approved

The Metrolink network will expand even further, plans for a new £350 million tram line through Trafford Park were given the green light today.

Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, has granted Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) legal powers to build the new 5.5km (3.4mile) line under a Transport and Works Act order. Work could start on the line this winter – and be operational by 2020/2021.

This line will provide a major public transport boost for the area, offering fast, frequent transport links for thousands of workers in the area and better connecting people to business, leisure and retail opportunities.

Trafford Park itself is the largest major employment zone in Greater Manchester outside the city centre and is home to over 1,300 businesses and more than 33,000 jobs – with employees travelling from across Greater Manchester and further afield.

The majority of the new route is on a segregated alignment which will ensure faster, more reliable journey times.

The £350 million funding package to build this line has already been secured by Greater Manchester Combined Authority through the 'earn back' funding arrangement as part of the Greater Manchester devolution deal.

TfGM consulted on plans for the new Trafford Park line during a 12-week public consultation in summer 2014, with 89% of comments in favour. An independent inspector presided over a public inquiry into the proposals in 2015.

28 August 2016: New St Peter’s Square stop in use

Following the rebuilding of St Peter’s Square and its stop; Metrolink services have resumed from Deansgate–Castlefield to both Market Street and Piccadilly Gardens stops.

First cross city route sides of both island platforms are in use.

Finishing works are continuing around the stop and the square area.

The Second City Crossing line is currently under construction. It will connect with Exchange Square stop and is expected to open in January 2017.

26 June 2016: St Peter’s Square & Eccles Line — Summer Closures

St Peter’s Square

St. Peter’s Square stop is being completely rebuilt. A new double island platform layout will allow cross-platform interchange between first and second cross city routes in both directions.

From 26 June 2016 until the new St. Peter’s Square stop opens at the end of August; services between the delta and Deansgate–Castlefield are suspended.

Eccles Line

Eccles via MediaCityUK Line is temporarily closed to enable a major track replacement programme.

Some sections of track are now showing significant wear, particularly where there are curved rails situated within the highway.

These essential upgrades are timed to coincide with final works at St Peter’s Square stop, when fewer people will be travelling due to the summer holiday period.

Eccles line services are expected to resume between Deansgate-Castlefield and MediaCityUK in early August, with the full line reopening at the end of August.

Metrolink services

South of St Peter’s SquareNorth of St Peter’s Square
AAltrincham — Deansgate–CastlefieldFAshton–under–Lyne — Bury
BManchester Airport — CornbrookGBury — Etihad Campus
(Peak only)
CManchester Airport — Firswood
(03:00 to 06:00)
HShaw and Crompton — Piccadilly
(Peak only)
DEast Didsbury — Deansgate–CastlefieldIRochdale town centre — Exchange Square
EMediaCityUK — Deansgate–Castlefield
(Line closed 26 July to early August)

Replacement bus services from 26 June

Three replacement bus services (X1, X2, X3) run between Piccadilly, Trafford Bar, MediaCityUK and Eccles

Metrolink customers must have a valid ticket or pass, tickets should to be purchased from on–stop ticket machines in advance of boarding. Routes to the relevant bus stops will be sign–posted.

All bus services operate on an approximate 10–minute frequency.

The bus replacement service will be monitored to ensure it meets the needs of our customers.

X1 Piccadilly — Trafford Bar — Cornbrook — Piccadilly

X2 Piccadilly — Deansgate-Castlefield — MediaCityUK — Eccles

X2 Operating hours
 Monday – ThursdayFriday and SaturdaySunday & public hols
To Eccles06:00 — 23:3006:00 — 00:3007:30 — 22:00
To Piccadilly06:00 — 23:3006:00 — 00:3007:45 — 22:45

X3 Piccadilly — Trafford Bar — MediaCityUK — Cornbrook — Piccadilly


In the city centre, free Metroshuttle buses, run on three circular routes linking key transport interchanges with shopping and business areas. Metroshuttle is easy to use — just hop on and off as often as you like. See TfGM’s Metroshuttle page for more information.

Walking route

Easy to follow walking routes will be signposted from affected city centre stops. The routes will be step–free, just follow the yellow signs. Download a walking map showing suggested step–free routes.

News 2016: top of page

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