In Pictures: Testing starts beyond Droylsden on East Manchester Line

Just when you think things might be calming down a bit on Manchester Metrolink you have to think again as the early hours of Friday 1st March saw the first trams run beyond Droylsden on the East Manchester Line. M5000s 3059 and 3061 ran coupled and having passed Droylsden they went as far as Ashton Moss. From here they returned to Audenshaw where they were stabled in the MPT construction compound waiting for further use. This is the start of the initial testing programme for this section of line which will see trams gradually get closer to the Ashton-under-Lyne terminus.

3059 and 3061 gently make their way beyond Droylsden as they become the first trams to run on the East Mancheter Line extension during the early hours of 1st March. (Photo: Frank Gradwell)

3059 approaches The Snipe as the initial gauging run continues. The last time electric transport ran here was in 1966 when the trolleybus ruled the roads. (Photo: Frank Gradwell)

Having reached Ashton Moss the two M5000s turned back as seen in this image. (Photo: Frank Gradwell)

Daylight on 1st March and 3059 and 3061 are seen stabled in the MPT compound at Audenshaw. (Photo: Steve Hyde)

Another view of the pair at Audenshaw. (Photo: Steve Hyde)

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16 Responses to In Pictures: Testing starts beyond Droylsden on East Manchester Line

  1. roger woodhead says:

    I hope they have enough vehicles available to run this service when it opens, and explain to the residents along the South Manchester line why they still have not got the six minute frequency they were promised.
    I say the above because today I rode on the line from St W rd to Victoria with a friend and we were discussing the new extensions, a gentleman sat behind us interjected with the above comment and two other couples joined in. From their conversations it appeared they thought my friend
    and I worked for Metrolink! and they were venting their annoyance at us we corrected their incorrect impression and changed the subject of our conversation! They do have a valid point though.

    • freel07 says:

      Good point about the SML to ORL service frequency. Its not just a lack of suitable trams though. There simply isn’t the capacity at present to run a 6 minute frequency on that route between Trafford Bar and Victoria. EML is also promised a 6 minute frequency but is only getting a 12 minute service until the full capacity provided by conversion to Line of Sight is available.

      Nice work capturing those test trams on Friday morning Frank.

      • freel07 says:

        Having checked the Future Metrolink page on the website it does say that both South Manchester and East Manchester were to get initial frequencies of 12 minutes and doesn’t say when the final 6 minute service is supposed to start.

        • roger woodhead says:

          totally agree with your comment about Metrolink web site. Unfortunately it is a matter of Public Record that the service would be every six mins from outset and that is what these people were saying. With 25 trams per hour between Cornbrook and the Delta jctn at present rising to 30 with the airport line and 35 by increasing the SML frequency your point is absolutely correct on existing signalling though personally I believe Line of sight will not better this.
          Maybe TfGM could be open for once and tell users it is likely to be 2016 before they get the full service on these new lines but based on past events pigs will fly first!

          • Ken walker says:

            6 minute frequency from the start may be on public record, Roger. But so is the Rochdale line opening to Central Park in Spring 2011 etc. And following the farcical situation on the run-up to the Rochdale extension, where both TfGM and Metrolink announced the first tram from Victoria would be at 0608 instead of 0508 (causing all the local press to also quote the wrong time), Metrolink website on the day following the opening, still said that the first tram had left Victoria at 0608! Inaccuracies like this in describing current events don’t do much for their credibility when they make statements about future events. There again, 99% of the public will neither know or care about that particular discrepancy, as they will have had more sense than to go standing on frosty platforms waiting to photograph the first tram!

    • Phil Hart says:

      Today whilst on a journey on the ORL from Derker to Manchester Market Street there were 2 Metrolink guys checking times and for any delays.
      I asked them if they knew when there was to be a 6 minutes service. They said it is planned in 2016 when the Airport service starts.

      They said that the plans at this moment are that the Airport service will go through Victoria and then on to Shaw.
      This would then provide a 12 minute service from Rochdale and a 6 minute service from Shaw.

      I supposed we’ll just have to wait and see.

  2. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    Superb photographs Frank. Welcome back!

  3. Steve Hyde says:

    I have to say that as one of those who decides ‘to go standing on frosty platforms waiting to photograph the first tram’ I find Ken’s comment above rather disappointing. If no-one took the trouble to do so there would be no record of the events for others to enjoy.

    I admit I do it because I enjoy going but I would also like to think that the photographs I send to Gareth give others enjoyment. I know Frank’s photgraphs of the first tram past Droylsden spurred me into action on Monday morning. Thanks Frank.

  4. Ken walker says:

    Steve, apologies that I have offended. I forgot that I was posting on the Ashton testing item and not on the Metrolink opens to Rochdale item; if my post had been on that item it might have been obvious that the comment was very much tongue in cheek, as the one photograph on the Rochdale opening thread, taken at 5.45 on a frosty morning at Milnrow, was taken by me! It was supposed to be a light-hearted dig at my own expense, but as I say has gone rather badly wrong. I very much enjoy the items and photos presented on this website and others, and again I apologise if Ihave offended.

  5. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    Very interesting conversations on here both light hearted and serious. Slowly I am meeting others that write on here although I have known Roger since 1966 as we share dare I say it an interest in buses as well. I actually have owned a Bolton Crossley for over 40 years now. Not easy to own a tram!

    • Ken walker says:

      It’s easy to own a tram but not so easy to find anywhere to keep it or to run it Ralph!
      The Bolton Crossley wouldn’t be single decker number 8 would it? If so I have probably unknowingly met you a few years ago when I had a ride on it at one of the Boyle Street events. If you own a Bolton bus I presume you know Aidan Anderson of the BBPG.

      • Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

        Well thats what I really mean Ken. Yes it is Bolton 8. Part owner in 1971 purchased wholly in 1974. Just waiting to fit starter motor then on the road. Laid up for 2 years due to divorce and becoming one parent family ,hence problem with starter got damp. Have been to Eorope with it and have some nice photographs of it at Amsterdam with 2 low floor trams from the 900s next to it!
        However I am more of a tram and trolleybus fan then buses. Though it is known I like Crossleys also being born in Crossley House on Pollard Street on the Droylsden tram route.

  6. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    Yes Ken I know Aiden he owns the Atlanteans Bolton Transport Group. We are at Tameside Transport Collection at Roaches Mossley A635 just on the Lancs/Yorks border.

    • Ken walker says:

      That’s ok, I work with Aidan for my sins and am an armchair contributor to the BBPG, so you’re quite safe to admit to being a bus enthusiast, I’ll stick up for you if you get picked on (for what good it’ll do with my arthritis!!!!!). At the aforementioned GMTS event I was on one of Aidan’s Atlanteans with Aidan at the wheel, ready for a run out, but then your bus pulled in behind and I immediately switched loyalties to no. 8! He’s a very understanding chap that Aidan, he still let me on 185 later in the day!
      Judging from your comment on an earlier thread about difficulty getting out of Diggle during the snow I assumed your vehicle was at Mossley.

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