With the new Trafford Park Manchester Metrolink extension due to open in around two months – only April has been publicly announced so far – a sure sign that a public service is coming has been seen with the start of daytime testing and driver training.
The first daytime runs in this batch – there were limited daytime runs ahead of Christmas – were spotted on Friday 14th February and Manchester Metrolink’s social media team were so excited by it that they even tweeted news of the movements! At least 3019 was out on the Trafford Park line on this first day and this follows on from switching on of the signals at Pomona overnight on 12th/13th February.
Up to three trams are expected to be used for the driver training with the hours of operation being 0830 to 1930 Monday to Saturday. As yet no official date for the opening has yet been announced.
Of course, the line to the Trafford Centre will be leaving the current Eccles line just after the stop at Pomona and after descending will call at new stops at Wharfside, Imperial War Museum North, Village, Parkway, EventCity and finally the terminus at Trafford Centre. The route is 5.5km in length and will see services every 12 minutes. Eventually they will run through to Crumpsall on the Bury line but to start with (and before the new 27 M5000s have arrived and been commissioned for service) the service is thought to only be running as far as Cornbrook.