TfGM name new Metrolink Director

Transport for Greater Manchester’s new Metrolink Director will be Peter Cushing it has been announced. Mr Cushing will replace Philip Purdy who is returning to his native Australia next month for family reasons. Previously with Central Trains Peter has also worked alongside TfGM’s Metrolink team on a long term but interim basis during the major expansion programme.

Mr Cushing has a wealth of expertise and experience in the rail industry and helped to rejuvenate Central Trains as Operations Director between March 2003 and January 2005. He was also part of the team involved in DfT’s remapping of the heavy rail network that saw the creation of the East Midlands Trains, London Midland and Cross Country franchises and has been involved in several rail franchise bids winning three.

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Peter’s appointment puts Metrolink in very capable hands. He is thought of very highly within the industry and
brings a great deal of experience to the role. In recent years he has been supporting the existing team while we deliver the £1.4 billion Metrolink expansion and, in doing so, has built up a thorough understanding of the network. In welcoming Peter, we have to bid farewell to Philip who has steered Metrolink through the most challenging period in its history with grace, professionalism and absolute dedication. We wish him and his family the very best for the future.”

Peter Cushing added: “I’m delighted and looking forward to the exciting challenges ahead. The Metrolink network will soon become the biggest light rail system in the country and, as part of that, is undergoing the most significant change in its history. In 1992, Metrolink consisted of 30km of track, 27 stops, 26 trams and one depot. We will soon have an entirely new fleet of 94 trams, two depots and a network covering 97km of track and 99 stops. It is a remarkable achievement, driven entirely by its own success, but a project of this magnitude, on an existing, well-established and well-used network, is going to come with some growing pains and teething problems. How we work through those inevitable issues is crucial. The network has grown steadily from an ambitious vision in the early 1980s to part of the fabric of daily life in Greater Manchester. It is a crucial part of what the area has to offer and is the envy of most other major cities; it is something to be incredibly proud of. For me, the aim is to continue the fantastic work Philip and his team have done in very challenging circumstances: managing the delivery of the expansion – the largest transport project in the country outside London – at the same time as running
an effective day-to-day operation. Passengers want a service that is reliable, clean, efficient, and focused on their needs – that’s what our focus is and will continue to be as we grow.”​

Peter will formally take up his role from 4th February before Philip Purdy heads back to Australia.

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15 Responses to TfGM name new Metrolink Director

  1. Geoff Pickles says:

    Cue all the ‘Dracula’ and ‘Darth Vader’ jokes …………..

  2. GLYN R HILL says:

    i have been to Rochdale, and no Tram has got to Rochdale Railway Station Stop yet, the Track is full of rubbish, and the Points from the double Track to Single line on High Level Rd have been taken out and a big hole dug, have been told it will be along time before Shaw to Rochdale is open

    • Ken Walker says:

      And the farce goes on. Wait for the news that the town centre extension is ready before the Shaw to Rochdale station section is running.

    • freel07 says:

      I can assure readers that trams have reached Rochdale Station.
      See this link http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=99468704&postcount=27600 for a photo.

      • Ken Walker says:

        There was a photo in the Rochdale Observer a couple of weeks ago of a tram in Rochdale but I think it was on High Level Road, the photo was taken in poor light

      • freel07 says:

        From a photograph taken and posted on another forum yesterday (Saturday 2nd February) it doesn’t look as though the points themselves have been removed. It may be that the machine has been removed for some reason. The fact that as Ralph says ticket machines have arrived is a good indication that commercial service isn’t far away.

    • Ken walker says:

      As of today, Thursday 7th, the hole is still there and there appears to be no progress being made on site and I have yet to see anybody doing any work there. So Glyn may well be right about opening being a long way off. The ironic thing is that until the town centre extension opens only one platform will be needed at the present terminus, the point in question could be secured in one position and left.

      • freel07 says:

        I was up there on Monday morning and can definitely say that the points were there at that time. I think that it might be that the point machine has been removed perhaps but that is a matter of a few hours to reinstall.

        • Ken walker says:

          I managed to get a photo through the fence yesterday, which I was then able to enlarge on the computer screen. The left hand switch appears to be in place, it wasn’t possible to say with the other side because of the position of the barrier which had been placed in front of it. I suspect it might have been left for now with staff dealing with any last minute problems on the Droylsden line, which I suppose is fair enough

  3. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    I wish Mr Cushing luck and hope he is allowed to get on with his work without interference. There is much to be done.

  4. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    I note that the ticket machines are now in place at Milnrow. This usually indicates impending service.

  5. The Eye says:

    Glyn R Hill – absolute rubbish my friend and I suspect you know it! A contact within TfGM has suggested to me the line to Rochdale will open early March 2013!

    • Ken walker says:

      Then perhaps TfGM could formally announce this and put an end to the speculation. It would also act as a reminder for the residents of Newhey and Milnrow who have by now probably forgotten that the tramway is there! There is a noticeable difference between the fuss TfGM has made over the East Manchester line with the opening day announced 2 months in advance and frequent updates on their website, and the almost stealth-like low key approach to the opening of Oldham Mumps and then Shaw, with the opening date announced less than a week beforehand in each case.

      • The Eye says:

        The Rochdale extension is now shown on the in tram maps and on ticket machines! TfGM prefer to keep openings ‘low key’. The only reason for pre-announced opening of the EML is because a particularly loose tongued Councillor spilt the beans! The fact that the EML has opened for all today has been kept quiet. TfGM have been clever in using the local tickets as bait in order to do a soft launch! Anybody can ride from today as long as a ticket is bought, unless you have a voucher!!

      • freel07 says:

        I believe they were backed into a corner by a politician in Tameside over EML. It is very unusual for them to announce a line opening until a few days previous so that should anything unexpected turn up during testing and trial running it can be sorted before any announcement. The rumour is mid March actually so perhaps we will hear something first or second week in March.