Its another early Christmas present – the very first tram has made it under its own power to the Trafford Centre as testing and commissioning of the Trafford Park line continues. M5000 3018 was the tram which was used on a full line test overnight on Sunday 8th/Monday 9th December.
Testing has been taking place on a fairly regular basis – both overnight and some limited daytime runs – since the first tests on Sunday 10th November as preparations for the start of services in the first half of 2020 continue. It is expected that these tests will continue on a limited basis for the next few weeks in the lead up to Christmas before 2020 sees a further increase to make sure that everything is just so ahead of the public being let lose.
The 5.5km extension will leave the Eccles line at a new junction constructed at Pomona before travelling to the Trafford Centre with new stops provided at Wharfside, Imperial War Museum North, Village, Parkway and EventCity. The line will be served by a new service from Crumpsall on the Bury line.
Although 3018 is the first tram to run to the Trafford Centre on Metrolink it isn’t the first tram there this century – that honour falls to Blackpool Brush 623 and Blackpool Balloon 702 which spent a period of time on display at the short-lived Museum of Museums before they headed to Heaton Park for a more permanent home.