The latest piece of the Manchester Metrolink jigsaw will be opened to the public on Sunday 26th February – subject to the successful completion of final testing and commissioning. The “transformative” Second City Crossing runs from St Peter’s Square – which has enjoyed major reconstruction in preparation – to Victoria via Exchange Square with initially trams from East Didsbury to Shaw & Crompton/Rochdale Town Centre using the line.
Peter Cushing, TfGM Metrolink Director, is delighted with the news: “The return of passenger trams to this area of the city will be a historic day and the culmination of years of hard work. I look forward to our customers right across the tram network experiencing the benefits.
From Sunday 26th February services from Manchester Airport will be extended through to Deansgate-Castlefield (from Cornbrook) with this service due to be further extended to Victoria later this year (once signalling work is completed). Those services which previously terminated at Deansgate-Castlefield and Exchange Square will be extended across the city centre providing a link between East Didsbury and Shaw & Crompton.
The following service pattern will operate:
Altrincham to Bury via Market Street
Altrincham to Etihad Campus
Bury to Piccadilly
Ashton-under-Lyne to Eccles
MediaCityUK to Piccadilly
Manchester Airport to Deansgate-Castlefield
East Didsbury to Rochdale Town Centre via Exchange Square
East Didsbury to Shaw & Crompton via Exchange Square
Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, commented: “Not only will the Second City Crossing offer more trams through the city – on a more flexible, reliable tram network – but also a fantastic new view of historic Manchester landmarks such as the Royal Exchange and Manchester Town Hall.”
Final testing of the line will now take place and provided that this all runs smoothly the first passengers will be carried on the Second City Crossing from Sunday 26th February. This will complete the Big Bang Metrolink expansion which has also seen extensions built to MediaCityUK, East Didsbury, Rochdale, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Airport. But it won’t end there as initial construction work has already commenced on the Trafford Park line.