Light rail and trams


First piece of track laid on Metrolink’s £350m Trafford Park extension

The first piece of track was laid at Parkway Circle today as part of the extension of Manchester’s Metrolink to Trafford Park. 

The event, which marked a major milestone in the £350m scheme, was witnessed by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, leader of Trafford Council, Cllr Sean Anstee, and chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TGfM) committee, Cllr Andrew Fender.

The project is the first to benefit from the devolution deal signed by Greater Manchester leaders and central government in November 2014, which is expected to earn back up to £900m over 30 years.

The line will have six new tram stops, offering sustainable links to some of the area’s busiest visitor destinations.

Trams will run on a largely traffic-free, segregated route, which should mean reliable journey times during peak hours.

Mayor Andy Burnham said that improving Greater Manchester’s public transport is a top priority: “By extending Metrolink to some of the busiest visitor attractions in Greater Manchester, we can give people a real alternative to driving and help reduce traffic congestion.

“The Trafford Park Line is one of the first schemes to benefit from Greater Manchester’s devolution agreement and it is great to be here and witness this major milestone and the first piece of track being laid.

“Metrolink plays a pivotal role in connecting people to job, leisure and retail opportunities and this extension through Europe’s largest trading estate to Event City and intu Trafford Centre will only enhance this further.”

Cllr Sean Anstee, leader of Trafford Council, explained why he feels the scheme is so important: “Trafford Park and areas around the Trafford Centre are vitally important to our local economy; they provide tens of thousands of jobs, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors and help to deliver continued growth, investment and regeneration, so I can’t emphasise enough the importance of this scheme.”

Chair of the TfGM committee, Cllr Andrew Fender, added: “Following the recent major expansion of the Metrolink network and completion of the second city crossing, it's great that we have been able to maintain the momentum with building the Trafford Park line.

“It's ever more important for TfGM to provide sustainable public transport alternatives to better serve our communities now and into the future.”

Construction on the project began in late 2016 and the new line is due to open in 2020.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.


Andrew Gwilt   03/02/2018 at 00:52

I guarantee that the Manchester Metrolink will still expand to other local areas around Greater Manchester with the future proposed extension to Stockport in the future.

STB   03/02/2018 at 09:47

Andrew, ‘guarantee’ does not mean what you seem to think it does. Look it up.

Andrew Gwilt   03/02/2018 at 13:02

STB. I don’t do researching. Ok.

STB   03/02/2018 at 13:51

Well then Andrew, don't complain if people take the mickey when you use words inappropriately.

Andrew Gwilt   03/02/2018 at 17:11

Oh whatever.

Jay   03/02/2018 at 18:40

The only way to make the tram excellent is to ensure everyone pays for the service and to put barriers up like London. I see see loads of people daily using the trams for free :-(

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Tram passengers demand better value for money from services

21/03/2018Tram passengers demand better value for money from services

  Satisfaction with value for money for tram passengers has dropped slightly, the latest Tram Passenger Survey has revealed. Fare-payi... more >
West of England to get £9.45bn economic boost from new rail partnership plan

21/03/2018West of England to get £9.45bn economic boost from new rail partnership plan

Rail companies across the west of England have set out a long-term plan for the region’s railway, which will boost the economy by £9.45... more >
First Virgin Azuma trains arrive in UK after two-month journey from Japan

21/03/2018First Virgin Azuma trains arrive in UK after two-month journey from Japan

Two brand new Hitachi trains completed their two month journey from Japan yesterday, arriving at Teesport, Middlesborough. The two five-car trai... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

In this article biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed look at how biometric technology is already starting to enhance health and safety measures on railway construction projects. Advances in technology are starting to transform the way in which the rail network in the UK is managed, operated and maintained. There is ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

13/03/2018Smart Ticketing: The way ahead

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), runs through the nationwide progress in rolling out ... more >
A benchmark year for HS2

13/03/2018A benchmark year for HS2

Jim Crawford, managing director of Phase 1 at HS2 Ltd, discusses the many critical activities set to take place this year as the mammoth high-spe... more >
The North has a plan

13/03/2018The North has a plan

There has always been an incredible thirst for change in the north. Now, there is finally a plan robust and forward-thinking enough to make it ha... more >
EWR: Getting it right

13/03/2018EWR: Getting it right

Peter Austin, delivery director at East West Rail Company (EWRco), argues that completing the link between Oxford and Cambridge as quickly as pos... more >

rail industry focus

  • 08/12/2017A game changer for Midland Metro

    The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) updates RTM’s Luana Salles on the latest projects taking place across the growing Midland Metro...
  • 09/11/2017Testing tomorrow's technology today

    David Brazier, site manager and area sales manager for the UK & Ireland at OMICRON electronics, tells RTM’s Luana Salles about the major...
  • 09/11/2017What next for safety?

    As rail businesses edge towards their target of zero injuries, improving safety performance can plateau. Amey’s sector director for rail, Lee...
View all News


Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >