Testing & Driver Training commences on East Manchester Line

Following hot on the heels from our story last week about initial testing on the South Manchester Line, testing has now recommenced on the East Manchester Line to Droylsden with driver training due to start by the end of the month as preparations continue before the line opens to the public – hopefully by the end of this year.

Initial nighttime testing took place on the East Manchester Line – which runs for nearly 4 miles from the current Piccadilly terminus to Droylsden with seven intermediate stops – earlier this year but this latest period of testing is the main lead up to the opening of the line. Nighttime testing will again be used at the start of the testing period but this will swiftly be followed by daytime tests and then driving training. How successful the initial testing is will determine just when the driver training commences. Once the initial driver
training has been completed it is planned that a period of “shadow running” will commence after which a full service will start. No official date has yet been revealed for when passengers will be able to travel by tram to Droylsden.

Philip Purdy, TfGM Metrolink Director, said: ““Driver training is an essential stage in the process of bringing any new tram line into service. It not only enables us to make sure our team of drivers are fully familiar with the route, but also helps to iron out any issues that may need to be resolved before the line opens for passenger service. Once driver training begins, people who live and work around the new line will start to see more trams on the whole length of the route, from Piccadilly in the city centre through East Manchester and all the way to Droylsden itself, calling at stops along the way. We would just like to remind
people that while we’re training our drivers, these trams are not in passenger service – so even if you see them at stops, please don’t try to board them just yet!”

The East Manchester Line should see a tram every six minutes at peak times, with services every 12 minutes off peak and every 15 minutes on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Eight new stops have been constructed at New Islington, Holt Town, Etihad Campus, Velopark, Clayton Hall, Edge Lane, Cemetery Road and Droylsden. Construction works are also underway on an extension to the line which will see trams reaching Ashton-under-Lyne in winter 2013/4.

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