Initial testing has new commenced on Manchester Metrolink’s Trafford Park line with the first trams running between Pomona and Warren Bruce Road overnight on Sunday 10th November. This marks the start of extensive commissioning, testing and driver training which will take place over the coming months ahead of the line opening in the first half of 2020.
3040 and 3014 were used to undertake these first slow speed tests with a team of engineers accompanying the tram to carry out essential safety checks making sure that everything was as it should be. This is just the very first stage of testing and does not mean that we are about to see trams running every night on the extension but is a key milestone in the project ahead of the start of services.
As we’ve mentioned before this extension leaves the current Eccles line at Pomona and will then travel for 5.5km to the Trafford Centre. It will include six new tram stops at Wharfside, Imperial War Museum North, Village, Parkway, EventCity and Trafford Centre. Costing £350 million the project will see trams running every 12 minutes between Trafford Centre and Crumpsall on the Bury line although there is no confirmation yet on whether it will traverse 1CC or 2CC between St Peter’s Square and Victoria.
Cllr Mark Aldred, Greater Manchester Transport Committee Chair, said: “The development of the Trafford Park line is excellent news for Greater Manchester, and I’m delighted to see it progressing with the start of tram testing. When the line opens next year, it will provide a major boost to regional regeneration and economic growth by improving access to the large amount of retail, leisure, business and employment opportunities that exist in Trafford Park. It will also help towards reducing congestion and tackling air quality as we give people another, more environmentally-friendly alternative to the car.”
Danny Vaughan, TfGM Head of Metrolink, added: “Last week we poured the final bit of concrete, all but marking the end of construction, and this week we’ve undertaken the first tram testing. This is another significant moment on our journey towards completion, as our focus now turns to the safety critical signalling systems and driver training. We’ve still got quite some way to go, but things are progressing very well and people can expect to start seeing a few more trams running up and down the line over the coming weeks and months ahead of the line opening in the first half of 2020. None of this would be possible without the work of our partners, including contractor M-Pact Thales (MPT) and the operator KeolisAmey Metrolink, and my thanks go to all those involved.”