In Pictures: Rail replacement works in Manchester City Centre

The latest set of engineering works on the Manchester Metrolink system started on Sunday 20th March with rail replacement works taking place in Piccadilly Gardens, along Aytoun Street/Piccadilly Place and in the Piccadilly Station undercroft itself. During these essential works no trams were able to run to Ashton with 1CC also closed so cross-city services were all diverted via 2CC giving this route a very intensive service for the duration of the work.

The week-long closure – due to remain in place until the end of service on Saturday 26th March with the following day seeing normal services resuming – saw the following revised service running:

  • Altrincham to Bury via 2CC (both an all day service every 12 minutes plus the peak additional service giving a tram every 6 minutes between the two stops)
  • Eccles to Deansgate-Castlefield
  • East Didsbury to Rochdale Town Centre via 2CC
  • East Didsbury to Shaw & Crompton via 2CC (peak time service only)
  • Manchester Airport to Victoria via 2CC
  • The Trafford Centre to Cornbrook

As well as all stops on the Ashton line being closed, the city centre stops at Shudehill, Market Street, Piccadilly Gardens and Piccadilly have also seen no trams running to or from them. A replacement bus service was running between Victoria and Piccadilly for those passengers who wanted to travel between the two mainline railway stations whilst a further bus service ran between Deansgate-Castlefield and Ashton.

Work being undertaken in the city centre saw rail replacement in Piccadilly Gardens on the curve leading from the stop into Mosley Street heading for St Peter’s Square, the section of line between Piccadilly Place and Aytoun Street on the way between Piccadilly and Piccadilly Gardens and also at Piccadilly Station stop in the undercroft.

At St Peter’s Square these barriers are in place across the line on 1CC to stop any trams from accessing the closed section.

In Piccadilly Gardens where work was underway on replacing the outbound curve from the stop into Mosley Street.

Another view in Piccadilly Gardens. The block paving has been removed, old rails have been cut out and placed the side and the new track is now being installed.

Moving along to Piccadilly Place/Aytoun Street where work was underway to remove the old track. New track waits alongside to be installed. (Photographs x4 by Gareth Prior, 21st March 2022)

Three days later and we return to the top of Mosley Street where the curve from Parker Street into Mosley Street is still being worked on.

More evidence of the track renewals in Parker Street where the curve into Mosley Street is being renewed. The rails are now in place and paving is being reinstated.

Work had been finished at the junction of Aytoun Street and Auburn Street with just the fresh tarmac as evidence it had ever taken place.

Work ongoing in the city bound platform at Piccadilly Undercroft. (Photographs x4 by Steve Hyde, 24th March 2022)

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