Stockport Council call for tram-train connection

Stockport Council have recently unveiled a new vision for rail travel in the area with four major priorities. As well as improving existing railway stations and ensuring that HS2 brings benefits to the local area the Council are calling for Metrolink to reach Stockport by way of the current Marple to Manchester Piccadilly rail service being converted.

Tram-trains have been part of Transport for Greater Manchester’s long-term plan for a while and linking Stockport is part of this but the Council have now come out in support with their new vision. The plan is that the Marple to Manchester Piccadilly rail service would become part of Manchester Metrolink and in turn a small extension would be built to serve Stockport Town Centre. It would be the start of a southern orbital network which connect the east of Greater Manchester to Manchester Airport, including Stockport Town Centre as a key hub.

Stockport Council have been developing their ideas in conjunction with Transport for Greater Manchester and Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM committee, commented: “At this point, tram-train is one of the longer-term projects for Greater Manchester and it is something we will continue to support as strongly as we can. This very useful report from Stockport Council will feed into our future plans and inform our ongoing engagement with Rail North.”

In 2013 TfGM listed a number of routes that were suggested for tram-train operation in addition to the Stockport route. These were Manchester-Glossop, Manchester-Atherton-Wigan, Manchester-Sale-Altrincham-Hale/Knutsford, Manchester East Didsbury-Hazel Grove and Stockport-Altrincham.

Tram-train operation is a “new” concept for the UK (although some may argue that Manchester Metrolink is already a tram-train network) and TfGM are waiting for the results of the proposed trial in Sheffield before progressing too far with their plans. This trial, which will link Sheffield with Rotherham, has been delayed and is now planned to start in 2016. Four new vehicles, to be built by Vossoloh, are currently under construction with the first of these due to arrive in South Yorkshire later this year.

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5 Responses to Stockport Council call for tram-train connection

  1. Frank Gradwell says:

    Ahem! HS2 “benefits Stockport” by cutting its direct London service from three trains an hour to one! That is NO benefit in my opinion!

    A true Manchester orbital would be a terminus in Wigan using the existing Network Rail alignment to Bolton, re-instating Bolton to Rochdale, utilising Rochdale to Oldham (Metrolink) then re-instating Oldham to Ashton, thence Network Rail from Ashton via Stockport to Navigation Road, then re-instate Skelton junction via Glazebrook to Wigan – voila! orbital route in place. Provied park and ride at all orbital/heavy rail interchanges and orbital/Motorway interchanges and that’s integrated transport!

    Stockport to Marple – simples! a curve from Reddish South to Brinnington! Job Done!

  2. Iain Dobson says:

    Perhaps if Stockport MBC had been more proactive in the past and preserved the right of way of the Manchester South District Railway and the Cheshire Lines Committee Line instead of allowing buildings to be put on the alignment, they may already have a Metrolink Line. Manchester preserved it’s old railway alignments and Stockport didn’t. Manchester has trams and Stockport doesn’t – Simples!

  3. Peter Marsh says:

    I certainly wouldn’t describe Metrolink as a tram-train operation. Crucially, there is no track sharing with heavy rail vehicles. The nearest we have at the moment is Pelaw-Sunderland, but the T&W Metro is not a tramway and the operation relies on an unwieldy mixture of Metro and Network Rail operating systems. Meadowhall-Rotherham will be the first true tram-train operation in this country along the lines of the Karlsruhe Model. On a point of detail, the Vossloh order for Sheffield is actually for seven vehicles – four for the tram-train operation and three for capacity growth on the Supertram network.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which is a compromise as they originally were planning a larger seperate order for extra capacity but two small production runs didnt make sense ao they combine and reduce the orders.

  4. James palma says:

    Exciting stuff! The metrolink constantly demonstrates how efficient light rail can be, especially with its tramway aspects.