Another early opening for Metrolink on the cards

The first stage of the Second City Crossing (2CC) for Manchester Metrolink looks set to open in winter 2015/6 following confirmation of a £10.8 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) bid grant. This grant should allow completion of the line between Victoria and Exchange Square by next summer with trams carrying passengers possibly during the following winter.

It has long been hoped that the 2CC would be able to open in stages with an extra service starting between Shaw & Crompton and the city centre and this funding should be able to make that a reality. The remainder of the 2CC would follow in 2017, as originally planned.

The funding will also allow TfGM to transform the existing footbridge linking the Metrolink stop at Deansgate-Castlefield with Deansgate Railway Station and a new lift and steps will be installed at the Deansgate end of the stop with a new pedestrian bridge and steps at the Albion Street end.

Work is already underway at Deansgate-Castlefield which will see the stop transformed with a new inbound island platform and a new outbound platform. There will also be two new track crossovers installed which means trams will be able to turn back in either direction. It is planned that this work will be completed by next summer after which attention will turn to major redevelopment works at St Peter’s Square.

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “This is fantastic news that has far reaching benefits. It means the early arrival of trams to Exchange Square, it means more trams for people travelling between Oldham and Manchester and it means the transformation of the Deansgate-Castlefield stop. Most importantly of all, it means that we can start to realise some of the many benefits of Metrolink’s transformational Second City Crossing a lot sooner.”

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6 Responses to Another early opening for Metrolink on the cards

  1. Freel07 says:

    I think that should read between Victoria and Exchange Square rather than Exchange Quay which is on the Eccles Line.

  2. Watcherzero says:

    Its the tail wagging the dog not the dog wagging the tail.

    The early opening is because the grant is time limited, it must be an operational service by the end of 2015 to be elligible however St Peters Square cant be finished as fast hence the proposed short service to Shaw.

  3. Ken Walker says:

    Meanwhile the Rochdale service is in meltdown today with no service between Central Park and the city centre due to overrunning engineering work which Metrolink are (rightly or wrongly) blaming on Network Rail, and no service between Shaw and Rochdale town centre because of communications problems!

    • freel07 says:

      I see that in the latest update on the TfGM website Network Rail appear to be taking responsibility. It is after all their contractor who is carry out both the station refurbishment and the Metrolink upgrade works under a single contract.

    • Ken Walker says:

      And today, Tuesday, Metrolink advise there will not be any services through Victoria today either. All Bury line services continue to terminate / start at Crumpsall and Rochdale services at Central Park with bus connections to and from the city centre, due to the ongoing engineering overrun. Network Rail do appear to be in charge of the work in question as they have issued an apology on the TfGM website.