Another week and another tramway extension has seen the laying of track with the first track now in place at into Trafford Centre as part of the Metrolink extension due to open in 2020. This track laying is in addition to that already taking place at EventCity, Parkway, Village Way and Warren Bruce Road.
This extension of Metrolink – with the new line leaving the current Eccles line shortly after Pomona – is part of a £350 million project to add an additional six stops to the network over 5.5km of tramway. Utility diversion work has now been completed – with over 190km of infrastructure now moved – allowing track laying and other crucial infrastructure construction to take place.
The Eccles line will be closed for 13 days from Saturday 28th July to allow work to take place at Pomona to connect the Trafford Park line to the current Metrolink network. During this closure period the chance is also to be taken to undertake some general track maintenance on the Eccles line thus reducing disruption for passengers. Throughout these 13 days a replacement bus service will be in operation.
Other major jobs to come on the extension will include the installation of beams to form a new bridge to carry the new line over the Bridgewater Canal adjacent to Park Way. This is scheduled to happen during September.
Upon opening in 2020 services will run from Trafford Centre through to Crumpsall – on the Bury line – via Manchester City Centre with a new bay platform being constructed here to accommodate the extra services. As well as enabling a service to run on the new route this will also increase capacity on the Bury which also sees trams running to Altrincham and Piccadilly.
Cllr Mark Aldred, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Track laying at intu Trafford Centre is another large symbolic step forward for the Trafford Park Line. The great progress we have made so far is due to the hard work, expertise and co-operation of everyone working on this project, including Trafford Council, MPT, intu Trafford Centre, EventCity and the Peel Group. Trafford Park and intu Trafford Centre are two of the economic hearts of our city-region. When it is open the new line will provide a vital link to them and the jobs, cultural attractions and shopping along the route. This means people will have a real alternative to driving, meaning fewer cars on the road, less congestion and less pollution.”