In Pictures: Ashton services start to run to Crumpsall

As many of you will have seen a few days ago, Manchester Metrolink have introduced a temporary timetable for the next few weeks because of the delay in engineering works in Piccadilly Gardens. Originally due to take place this week they have now been delayed until the end of November because of issues with Metrolink’s rail supplier and as a result to ensure the continued safe operation of Metrolink its been necessary to introduce a revised service.

The big change in the service is that no trams are able to run through the delta junction between Piccadilly Gardens and St Peter’s Square. This affects the normal Ashton to Eccles service as well as the Altrincham to Piccadilly service (and indirectly the Bury to Piccadilly service which although it could run has been amended because of the Altrincham service change).

That all means that the following services will be running for the next few weeks:

  • Ashton to Crumpsall – using the turnback siding constructed for service from The Trafford Centre but not yet used for this purpose
  • Eccles to Deansgate-Castlefield
  • Altrincham to Bury – running every 6 minutes at peak times and every 12 minutes off peak

The service from Ashton to Crumpsall marks the return of trams between the Ashton and Bury lines – this was where they ran when the Ashton line first opened before a re-jig of the services saw them moved to run to Eccles instead.

  • It has been confirmed that the engineering works will now take place between Tuesday 22nd and Tuesday 29th November. During this period trams from Ashton will run only as far as Piccadilly, those from Eccles will again terminate at Deansgate-Castlefield and all services from Bury and Altrincham will continue to run direct between the two termini instead of into Piccadilly.

At Ashton 3088 is seen ready to depart on a journey to Crumpsall where it will terminate in the so far little used turnback siding originally constructed for Trafford Centre services.

At Ashton West 3137 is also seen on a service from Ashton to Crumpsall. This change of destination is a result of delays to engineering works on the Piccadilly Gardens Delta Junction which mean that there are no services between the Delta Junction and St Peters Square for the next few weeks. Alongside 3137, 3091 is seen departing for Ashton.

Crossing the roundabout at Ashton Leisure Park on Lord Sheldon Way we see 3091 again as it commences its trip to Crumpsall. These diversions have restored the original link between Ashton and the Bury Line the loss of which some locals have long lamented. (All Photographs by Steve Hyde, 24th October 2022)

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