Manchester Metrolink testing update

As we reported last week test running on both the South and East Manchester line’s has recently commenced and this has continued over the past seven days. In addition the Oldham and Rochdale line beyond Oldham Mumps has seen some tram action and further wiring has commenced between Droylsden and Ashton-under-Lyne.

East Manchester Line

Night-time tests continue as far as Droylsden.

Oldham and Rochdale Line

On the night of Thursday 18th October the first gauging run up to Shaw was undertaken.

South Manchester Line

Daytime testing as far as East Didsbury has started with a number of gauging runs undertaken.

Meanwhile the withdrawals of the initial batch of T68s has stalled in recent weeks with no
further examples being taken out of service for a few weeks now. Currently 10 have been withdrawn with another two expected to be removed from service soon (TfGM’s latest plan had been to take them out of service by the end of September although this has obviously passed now). Of note is that 3020 is expected to receive the Lancashire Fusilier name off 1020 in the next few weeks (1020 is the last unmodified T68 to be in service).

Still clinging on in service is the last of the unrefurbished T68s, 1020. Having lost its regular partner (1019) a couple of weeks ago 1020 can now be seen running alone, normally on the Bury-Piccadilly service but its days in service are expected to be numbered so catch it whilst you can! This view shows 1020 at Piccadilly. (Photo: Steve Hyde)

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11 Responses to Manchester Metrolink testing update

  1. freel07 says:

    I believe 1020 will last until after Remembrance Day at least. It’s dedication then being transferred to 3020.

  2. Ken Walker says:

    2 M5000’s, one of which is 3055, are being used on the Droylsden line testing and appear to be left at New Islington tram stop during the day rather than returning to depot after night-time testing

  3. Jamie Guest says:

    I’m not sure when they will withdraw the T68’s I was riding the system yesterday which was a match day at Old Trafford. T68’s were running in pairs on the core Bury Altringham service but the M5000’s were only in singles. perhaps there is a problem running them in multiple.


    • Gareth Prior says:

      They are currently unable to operate the M5000s as pairs because of Mosley Street stop, which is not long enough to take them (the T68s have the retractable steps which solves this problem). The aim is that there are six T68 pairs in service on a normal day on the Bury-Altrincham direct service. All T68s and T68As will be withdrawn by the end of 2014.

  4. Aidan Croft says:

    Any idea what the second T68 to be withdrawn in addition to 1020 is?

    Kind regards,


  5. Ken Walker says:

    Article in the Manchester Evening News website today

    Trams will now initially extend to Shaw in the new year. Reading between the lines (no pun intended) it looks as though it could be Easter before they are carrying passengers to Rochdale

    • Ken Walker says:

      In fact, TfGM website, which also quotes opening to Shaw early in 2013, says that opening to Rochdale railway station is expected to be several months after Shaw, so it could even be summer before services start to Rochdale station. The Rochdale town centre extension will be ready before phase 1 of the route at this rate!

  6. Tony says:

    Besides the problems with Mosley Street, some of the M5000s cannot work in multiple with each other.

    I believe that numbers 3001 to 12 and Those fitted later up to 22 ( I think) use a different system than the ones with the retrofitted hardware took out from the T68s. 3025 up to 3040 Those systems no longer being able to be bought on the open market.

  7. Ken walker says:

    Noted tonight, 3052 and 3055 testing on the Droylsden line, and, surprisingly considering the first gauge test run to Shaw only took place a few days ago, 3053 and 3057 were parked up in the platform at Milnrow.

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