In Pictures: First trams on Manchester Airport line

As expected trams have now started testing on the Metrolink Airport extension with the first movements taking place in the very early hours of Monday 23rd June. M5000s 3061 and 3052 were used for these first runs and arrived onto the Mauldeth Road section at around 0030 and then made gentle progress before arriving at Sale Water Park an hour later. Further testing will take place over the next few days. With thanks to Steve Kemp we bring you a few images from these first test runs.

3061+3052 are seen here ready to cross onto Mauldeth Road

The pair pauses at Barlow Moor Road stop.

3061+3052 on Hardy Lane.

The two trams are seen here having just crossed the Mersey.

And finally we catch up with the two trams at Sale Water Park on their return to depot. (All Photos: Steve Kemp)

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3 Responses to In Pictures: First trams on Manchester Airport line

  1. Ken Walker says:

    Good to see that the people concerned have now got their act together and able to deliver ahead of schedule, although to be honest I have always wondered how they were going to spin this out to 2016! It is just unfortunate that its impact will be reduced due to the city centre improvements not being ready in time.
    On a different note, I noticed when travelling through Victoria today that the first of the new lines through the station is now in place from ‘East Junction’ (railway location) right through the station to the station exit, and most of the new concrete track bed now complete from Victoria to Balloon Street.

  2. Howie B says:

    Nice to see the trams on Mauldeth Rd West. A group was formed to fight the removal of trees on the central reservation in advance of Metrolink’s arrival. May I remind them that the Mauldeth Road West dual carriageway was created with the very intention of running a high speed tram service from Princess Road (itself a reserved track tramroad) to Barlow Moor Road and Chorlton. That was back in 1928 and was part of Henry Mattinson’s ambitious plans for tramway extensions. His premature death and replacement by Mr Pilcher meant the plan never came to fruition. Henry would be delighted to see the trams arriving even if it is 85 years after he died.

    • Ken Walker says:

      Well said Howie. It’s a bit like those who protested at the relaying of the Welsh Highland Railway between Caernarfon and Porthmadog, some of them were farmers who were being made to give back land which had never been theirs to take in the first place, and some others were walkers complaining about how the trains would disturb the peace and tranquility – for a maximum of 6 times a day, for about 3 or 4 minutes each time.

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