Manchester Metrolink Performance Update

The Metrolink and Rail Networks sub-committee of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee are preparing to meet for one final time in 2014 and that means only one thing: the latest Metrolink performance statistics have been released. This time they review periods 6 (Monday 15th September to Sunday 12th October) and 7 (Monday 13th October to Sunday 9th November) and this article looks at the service performance, details of major incidents, the LRVs, patronage and the number of complaints for Metrolink during this time.


Operated mileage was on the decline during this two periods. Having been at 99.41% in period 5 it was at 99.19% in period 6 before falling again to 98.35% in period 7. Although a fall this is still above the target which is 98%. Interestingly the reason for both periods operated mileage was due to drivers with resourcing in period 6 and availability in period 7 getting the blame.

Major Incidents

The following incidents caused delays of more than 30 minutes during these periods:

28th September: A full day closure between Timperley and Altrincham to allow Network Rail repairs to a track circuit fault.

11th October: No services were able to run between Oldham King Street and Rochdale Town Centre after 2313 (until the following day at 1030) due to cable theft causing a circuit breaker trip.

22nd October: A medical emergency at Deansgate Castlefield meant services were suspended on the Altrincham, Eccles, East Didsbury and Airport lines. No services ran between 0755 and 0905.

23rd October: A pedestrian was hit by a tram on Aytoun Street causing suspension of services into Piccadilly. The incident happened at 1307 and the pedestrian was taken to hospital at 1407 allowing trams to run back into Piccadilly. The MediaCityUK service continued to be suspended until 1745 to aid service reformatioin.

5th November: Signalling issue at Cornbrook and Firswood caused severe delays across the network between 1700 and 2200 and a separate signaling issue at Irk Valley caused extra delays on the Bury and Rochdale lines.

6th November: A points failure at Newton Heath & Moston meant services from Rochdale were terminated at Westwood and from East Didsbury at Newton Heath & Moston. The incident started at 0925 and normal services resumed at 1330.

7th November: A car was driven on the tracks at Broadway. Services were suspended between MediaCityUK and Eccles from 1957 and 2100.


The reliability of the LRVs in period 6 was 33,975 MDBSF (mean distance between service affecting failures) with 14 outright failures. This then fell dramatically to 18,520 MDBSF in period 7 with 27 failures. There were a spate of coupler problems contributing to this along with issues with the rear view cameras and the hydraulic braking system.

3013 remains out of service. The report states that testing of the LRV is due to commence during December.


374 total written complaints were received in period 6 (93 due to service disruption) and 493 in period 7 (244 due to service disruption).

There were also seven commendations in period 6 and eight in period 7.


2.8 million passengers were carried during October. This was 87,000 above budget and 122,000 ahead of the same month in 2013.

* The full report can be downloaded from the TfGM Committees website at

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