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Manchester Metrolink News 2018

10 August 2018: Eccles line blockade for Pomona Junction works
2 July 2018: 27 news trams on the way for Metrolink
11 May 2018: Body–worn video cameras and new high-visibility signs
23 March 2018: Mayor announces ‘Congestion Deal’ to encourage travel behaviour change
16 March 2018: Trailblazing transport leader Chairs last meeting
1 February 2018: First track laying on Trafford Park Line
28 January 2018: Metrolink service pattern change
16 January 2018: Crumpsall stop upgrade

10 August 2018: Eccles line blockade for Pomona Junction works

To enable essential works for the Trafford Park line junction Pomona there was a 13-day closure of the Eccles line from Saturday 28 July to Thursday 9 August. Full bus replacement services operated, including additional peak times services.

The works saw a 350-tonne and a 100-tonne crane working on site to temporarily remove the overhead power lines before cutting out the old track plinths to the west end of the Pomona stop and replacing them with new ones. Rails were then reinstalled and overhead lines put back in place.

The closure also enabled TfGM working with operator KeolisAmey Metrolink and other partners to do maintenance and repair works on the tram network and local area at the same time, minimising the overall impact to customers, local residents and businesses.

Timed to coincide with school summer holidays when fewer people travel on the network; the works were done in a single 13-day closure; preventing the need to close the line over multiple weekends.

2 July 2018: 27 news trams on the way for Metrolink

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has signed a £72m contract that will see 27 new M5000 trams increase capacity on the UK’s largest tram network. The contract is with manufacturer Bombardier Transportation UK and Kiepe Electric.

They will provide 4,800 extra spaces and be used to run more ‘double’ trams on the busiest lines. The first tram is expected to arrive in February 2020, with other units following on a monthly basis through to June 2021.

The new trams are being funded by the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund, which aims to improve productivity and spread prosperity through investment in public and sustainable transport in England’s largest city-regions. They were first announced as part of the Congestion Deal, the city-region’s approach for tackling congestion by improving public transport and providing a genuine alternative to driving.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said:

   “Greater Manchester is growing. That means more jobs, more people and more demand on our public transport networks and these new trams will be a very welcome – and much needed – addition to the Metrolink fleet.
   By significantly enhancing capacity we will enable more people to leave their cars at home and use Metrolink to commute to their jobs, access essential services and explore our amazing city-region.
   That means less congestion on our roads, less pollution in our air and a better quality of life for everyone. I cannot wait to see the first new trams put into action.”

11 May 2018: Body–worn video cameras and new high-visibility signs

Ongoing work to stamp out antisocial behaviour on the Metrolink network has received a double boost.

All KeolisAmey Metrolink’s Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are now being deployed with body-worn video cameras recording live footage and new high visibility signs are being rolled out to highlight and warn potential troublemakers that their actions will be caught on CCTV.

The new body-worn cameras, which will be clearly visible to passengers, aim to reassure the public and cut down crime and antisocial behaviour (ASB) by recording high quality live footage that can be used to assist criminal investigations and provide evidence for prosecution.

They will be used to support CSRs in their day-to-day work, which includes revenue protection, security and customer care. The cameras are already being worn by Metrolink’s TravelSafe Officers, a security team dedicated to the UK’s largest light rail system.

While the new high-visibility signs, which have been introduced across the network, will remind Metrolink passengers of its extensive CCTV coverage, with more than 2000 cameras on trams, stops, park and ride sites, cycle hubs and in the depots.

The signs are portable and will be used to target hotspot areas and complement the work done by the Travelsafe Partnership.

23 March 2018: Mayor announces ‘Congestion Deal’ to encourage travel behaviour change

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, is today launching a ‘Congestion Deal’ to tackle congestion across Greater Manchester.

The new measures being announced include:

The Congestion Deal follows the Mayor’s Congestion Conversation last autumn, which over 7,000 members of the public responded to.

16 March 2018: Trailblazing transport leader Chairs last meeting

One of the most influential figures in the development of public transport across Greater Manchester is calling time on a prestigious 41-year political career.

Councillor Andrew Fender today chaired his last meeting of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee after choosing not to stand for re-election next month.

It marked farewell to the Yorkshire-born Old Moat representative, who was first elected as a councillor to represent the Hulme and Moss Side wards on the former Greater Manchester County Council (GMC) in 1977.

During his distinguished career, he was perhaps best known for his role in laying the foundations for the development of Metrolink, which was first opened in 1992 by HM Queen Elizabeth II and is now the United Kingdom’s largest light rail network.

While Metrolink is the largest transport scheme to have been delivered under his stewardship, Cllr Fender has also overseen the delivery of countless other schemes, not least state-of-the art transport interchanges and the North West’s first – and much heralded – guided busway.

Such has been his contribution to regional growth and prosperity, Cllr Fender was given the prestigious Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s Lifetime Achievement Award at their 2015 Awards for Education and Excellence event. A fitting tribute to a career spent serving the public while driving improvement and regeneration.

1 February 2018: First track laying on Trafford Park Line

Today marked a major milestone for the much anticipated £350m Metrolink Trafford Park Line scheme as the first piece of track was laid at Parkway Circle.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, the Leader of Trafford Council, Councillor Sean Anstee and Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Committee, Councillor Andrew Fender were alongside a number of key attendees to witness this major milestone.

It’s the city region’s first major project to benefit from the ground-breaking Devolution Deal, signed by Greater Manchester leaders and central government, in November 2014. The deal provides earnback funding of up to £900 million over 30 years and has provided funding for the £350 million Trafford Park Metrolink line as part of a joined up transport network right across the city region.

Construction work began in late 2016 and the new line is due to open in 2020. Services will run from the Trafford Centre through Manchester city centre to an improved stop at Crumpsall.

28 January 2018: Metrolink service pattern change

These changes, starting today, benefit passengers with later running trams, better connections and improved capacity and resilience.

*Airport ‘early bird’ services (3am – 6am Monday to Saturday and 3am – 7am Sunday) will continue to terminate at Deansgate-Castlefield.

Trams will continue to operate at six or 12 minutes intervals. Metrolink staff will be on hand at key stops in the first weeks of the new pattern to explain any changes and guide customers.

Passengers will also notice a change to the network map, which has been re-designed due to recent service changes and takes into consideration feedback from customers. Coloured lines have been reintroduced to make it easier to distinguish the services that operate as well as numbered flags.

16 January 2018: Crumpsall stop upgrade

A new pedestrian crossing opened on 3 January; making it easier for passengers to cross the tram tracks and providing track-level access to the platforms - like many other stops across the Metrolink network

Overnight on 14/15 January the former footbridge was lifted out by contractors M-Pact Thales, who completed the works during the early hours of Sunday morning, using a 220-tonne crane, minimising disruption to Metrolink customers.

Removing this 13.5 tonne, 14 metres long, 2.5 metres wide and 2.6 metres high, footbridge was a significant engineering feat and has been captured by time-lapse footage posted by TfGM on YouTube.

This first phase also includes upgrading the stairs on the Bury-bound platform, removing the old lift shaft and disabled access ramp on the Manchester-bound platform. It is due to be completed in March 2018.

There will be a final phase of work before the new Trafford Park line opens in 2020.

News 2018: top of page

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