Two new substations are about to be installed on Manchester Metrolink to provide additional power and resilience across the network and enabling more trams to run. The substations will be built in the Park and Ride sites at Brooklands and Whitefield with pre-work set to begin on Wednesday 29th March.
The substations are part of a multi million pound improvement package which has also included a new wheel lathe at Trafford Depot, a new turnback at Sale and 16 additional trams (part of the 120 trams already in service so don’t get excited thinking this is more trams!). Costing £44 million this package is said to enhance the capability of the network, increase resilience and improve operational reliability.
Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “As the largest light rail network in the country, there are hundreds of thousands of journeys made and tens of thousands of miles covered on Metrolink each and every week. It is therefore absolutely vital that we invest in our infrastructure to ensure we have the necessary capability, resilience and reliability to meet these demands. These new substations, along with the other investments being delivered as part of the Metrolink service improvement package, are absolutely vital as the network continues to expand and grow.”
Starting from Monday 3rd April – and throughout the duration of the works – there will be 25 fewer parking spaces at Brooklands and 16 at Whitefield. Once the works are completed, which will take between six and eight weeks, there will be 10 fewer spaces at Brooklands and seven at Whitefield.
As part of the wider package there will be changes to Metrolink services on Sunday 30 and Monday 1 May and Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May to allow for parts of the work to be finished.
Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, commented: “As a result of Metrolink’s recent expansion we’ve seen passenger numbers increase year-on-year, with 37 million journeys made in 2016. We will soon be carrying over 40 million passengers annually and providing additional power to the network will help us to sustain that growth. I’d like to apologise in advance for any disruption caused during the works and encourage passengers to plan in advance and check before they travel.”