Metrolink Update – November 2013 (1) ….

Posted on November 13th, 2013, by The Chairman

Paul Wilkinson writes ….

Cornbrook continues to cause problems which are many and varied. They did not show up prior to live running through the various junctions.

The current weekend disruptions are due to work to enable the switching off the BR style block signals to introduce line of sight for trams with signals at junctions only to enable trams to active their route at points as necessary. This update brings with it the information screens on tram stops.

The next stage in changing to line of sight working will extend the new system from the current boundary of Trafford Bar Tunnel to include entry and exit to the Trafford Depot and possibly as far down the line as Sale tram stop. Work is currently progressing around Trafford Depot with missing rails replaced in the points to enable access to the depot from the Altrincham line. Some testing has taken place during weekend closures.

The last tram from the city continues to arrive at Altrincham at 0015 Mon-Thurs, 0115 Fri-Sat and 2316 on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Prior to 30 September, all last trams went in service to Victoria, then returned out of service to Trafford Depot, entering the depot by a convoluted process from the East Didsbury line.

Since 30 September, the last trams now travel from Altrincham to Cornbrook out of service and then back to the depot.

So final trams to the city now are from Altrincham 2334 to Piccadilly, 2346 to Cornbrook on Mondays to Thursdays. Last trams on Fridays and Saturdays are 0034 to Piccadilly then 0046, 0058 to Cornbrook and 2323 to Piccadilly on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

During the week there are normally eight double trams operating on the Altrincham – Bury directs with the first being 0715 from Altrincham. The two journeys which operate with single units are now 0741 and 0817 Altrincham-Bury. This repeats itself every 2 hours.

Recent journeys past the Trafford Depot show the number of yellow M5000 trams in service – there are sometimes none or only one on depot. The current full system need is 63 trams in daily service Monday to Friday with slightly less on Saturdays and Sundays.

And to the future:
The first of the final 20 trams has been delivered being 3074. These final 20 trams have a few more seats compared to the first 73 delivered.

Whilst the Second City Crossing is authorised and due to start being built in early 2014, the TfGM Metrolink Director Peter Cushing has hinted an early opening of the north spur from Victoria–Exchange Square will enable a Shaw-Exchange Square service to start bringing a six minute service to the Oldham line as far as Shaw. This service will ultimately be the link to the Airport.

It is likely that the next line to be built will be to the Trafford Centre as a spur off the Eccles line at the sharp bend after Pomona stop. This won’t start to be built until 2016 when the Airport line is due to open. The ten trams needed to operate the line are likely to be added to the end of the current order which finishes at 3094, to keep the costs down. This will give the system some extra trams to use pre-2016 and possibly used to extend the existing Media CityUK shuttle-Cornbrook–Piccadilly service to Ashton giving that line a six minute service from Piccadilly (these trams currently go out of service from Piccadilly to Velopark to turn!)

Whilst Metrolink do not themselves publish timetables, timetables for tram services are available on the North West Journey planner site.

Where it asks for Bus number – put in one of the following:
MET3 for the ALTRINCHAM – MANCHESTER line (but the two services are actually shown together, and clicking ‘MET2’ or ‘MET3’ brings you to the same timetable)

Whilst TfGM own the trams and stations, etc., the day to day running issues are the responsibility of the operators who are Metrolink RATP Dev UK (shortened to MRDL).

The Customer Services telephone line is 0161 205 2000 (lines are manned from 0600 – 2300 Monday to Friday, 0800 – 2000 Saturday and Sunday and 1000 – 1800 on Bank Holidays).

Alternatively, you can email or write to: –

Customer Services
Metrolink RATP Dev UK
Trafford Depot
Warwick Road South
M16 0GZ

Network Rail own the infrastructure between Altrincham and Timperley but not the overhead lines.

Please leave a comment

  1. Mike Battman Says:

    I’ve come across this video on how the ‘Get Me There’ card will work…

    I think the video is good, an excellent explanation, hope the card itself is as good

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