No trams will run to Eccles for 13 days from Saturday 28th July to allow construction work to take place connecting the current line with the Trafford Park extension. This period will also enable other maintenance work to take place on the Eccles line without providing any further disruption for passengers.
From Saturday 28th July until Thursday 9th August service from Ashton-under-Lyne will only run as far as Deansgate-Castlefield.
The works will see a 350-tonne and a 100-tonne crane working on site to temporarily remove the overhead before cutting out the old track plinths to the west end of the stop at Pomona and replacing them with new ones. Rails will then be reinstalled and the overhead will also be put back in place.
The Trafford Park line will be leaving the current Metrolink network at Pomona with six new stops being constructed over 5.5km. Construction started at the end of 2016 and it is planned that the first trams will run to Trafford Park in 2020. A service is due to run from Trafford Park to Crumpsall, so has the added benefit of improving services on the Bury line.
Alex Cropper, TfGM Head of Projects, said: “This work is a landmark moment for the future expansion of Metrolink as we look to connect the upcoming Trafford Park line with the rest of the tram network. Unfortunately it will result in some disruption for passengers for a short period of time – but we have done a lot of planning to keep customers informed and on the move during the process and to keep disruption to a minimum. We’ve also worked closely with partners to identify other essential enhancement works that they could carry out during this time, such as deep cleaning stops, which will benefit passengers. Once the new tram line through to intu Trafford Centre is open it will mean more frequent services and much improved access to jobs and leisure across the wider tram network.”
The works have been timed to coincide with school summer holidays as traditionally fewer passengers will be travelling on the network. They have also been condensed into a single 13 day closure to prevent the need to close the line over multiple weekends.
There will be a full bus replacement service throughout the closure with additional buses running at peak times.
As well as the works connecting the Trafford Park line the chance will also be taken to carry out maintenance and repair works on the tram network and local area at the same time.