Light rail and trams


GM Metrolink services get capacity boost and updated tram map

Metrolink service changes are set for launch next week, with the operator expanding routes and unveiling a new and improved tram map.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) says the changes are set to increase capacity on most services from 28 January.

Trams which previously ran between Manchester Airport and Deansgate-Castlefield will now travel through to Victoria, while services from MediaCityUK will go past Piccadilly and terminated at Etihad Campus.

In addition, evening services on Sunday will be extended by around an hour, and extra platforms will be brought into operation at both Altrincham and Victoria.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said the change in service pattern was “really important” to delivering improvements for customers.

“Metrolink connects large parts of the city region, providing vital links across our towns and cities, and the introduction of later running trams on Sundays will be a boost to our night time economy and the many workers and revellers who support it,” he continued.

“This, coupled with the fact that we’re extending services from the airport to Victoria – which will provide better connections and additional capacity through the regional centre – will undoubtedly improve our customers’ journey and experience of Metrolink.

“This is especially significant as this has only been made possible by bringing into service the third line through Victoria; the final piece of the jigsaw funded by Metrolink’s remarkable £1.5bn ‘big bang’ programme of extensions and upgrades.”

As well as introducing new services, the additional trams brought in on the Altrincham and Bury lines before Christmas are expected to stay in use in order to increase overall capacity on two of the busiest routes.

Aline Frantzen, managing director at KeolisAmey Metrolink, which operates the trams, commented: “Our mission is to put customers at the heart of everything we do, to keep Greater Manchester moving and growing every day.

“To achieve that, we need to listen to what our customers are telling us and we’ve done exactly that by responding to the feedback we’ve had from people about wanting to be brought closer to where they want to go, the need for more space on trams for people – particularly travelling through the city – and services stopping short.”

In addition to the service changes, Metrolink has unveiled a new map of its lines, which has been re-designed and now includes coloured lines as well as numbered flags following feedback from customers.

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


John Liggett   24/01/2018 at 16:34

What about the Shaw & Crompton service via 2cc on the new map.? The coloured lines are much better but East Dids to Shaw needs including!

James Miller   24/01/2018 at 18:47

When will I be able to use my contactless bank card as a ticket on Metrolink?

Lutz   24/01/2018 at 19:15

That schematic is actual rather good - the system is beginning to look to look useful.

Martin   24/01/2018 at 19:34

John, Perhaps they have decided to think of East Didsbury to Shaw & Crompton as merely a short journey on what they now call route 5 (will these, one day, actually appear on the tram?), rather than a different line?

Andrew Gwilt   25/01/2018 at 04:25

What about new tram routes to be introduced via the 2nd City Crossing (Exchange Square) such as Eccles to Bury. Manchester Airport to Rochdale. Manchester Airport to Bury and MediaUK City to Bury (all going via Exchange Square). Plus with the extension of route 4 from Victoria to Droylesden (Bury-Droylesden). Plus with the Metrolink extension to Port Salford which is under construction. And the future Metrolink extension to Stockport that has been planned for the extension to Stockport from Central Manchester.

Lee   25/01/2018 at 07:41

Andrew, why on earth would Metrolink bring out a route map that depicts service and routes that don't exist? The purpose of the map is to illustrate where services are running, not act as a pretty picture to demonstrate where imaginary services could run along routes that don't exist or are still being constructed. The 'Port Salford' extension as you call it will only go as far as The Trafford Centre until such time as Port Salford is actually developed, otherwise trams will be running in the vicinity of the Salford Reds Stadium. The Stockport route has protected status but there is no TWO to construct it as yet. I have seen plans for the extension of the Altrincham line to be extended to the airport but as yet that route doesn't have a TWO either.

Andrew Gwilt   26/01/2018 at 01:13

Perhaps you are Lee.

H Donnelly   26/01/2018 at 23:01

It's time we had a contactless system for MMetrolink and also a Manchester Oyster Card which covers all services. Let's hope Manchester City Council responds to demands from those who have lost years of their pension by introducing Free Fares for those aged 60 and over. Free and reduced fares are still available for the over 60's in London, Liverpool and in Scotland and Wales. It certainly would be a Vote Winner in May 2018.

Andrew Gwilt   26/01/2018 at 23:53

Correction-Perhaps you are right Lee. Yp made myself a absolute fool.

John Shaw   27/01/2018 at 15:54

I am catching the tram from Piccadilly to Sale on Sunday January 28th, I am a pensioner with a bus pass do I just show my pass on the tram ?

Andrew JG   28/01/2018 at 05:30

Well Manchester Metrolink is still going to expand to other towns in the Greater Manchester area that is due to have the trams expanded in the future. So that people can use the trams to get to Central Manchester to work, shop and to visit families and friends. Even though there are local railway stations nearby that is ideal to get to Manchester by train with a trainpass or reduced train ticket.

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Union to continue with controversial four-day Easter Weekend strike

16/03/2018Union to continue with controversial four-day Easter Weekend strike

Union members working for South Western Railway (SWR) are to go through with a four-day strike running across both bank holidays over the Easter ... more >
NR slapped with £730,000 fine for Gloucester freight derailment

16/03/2018NR slapped with £730,000 fine for Gloucester freight derailment

Network Rail has been ordered to pay £733,000 fines after a court found that its failure to adequately maintain track had caused a freight ... more >
Network Rail sees more than £200m in retail sales in Q4 2017

15/03/2018Network Rail sees more than £200m in retail sales in Q4 2017

Retail sales at Network Rail managed stations grew by 3.5% in the final quarter of 2017, it was revealed today. Between April and December 2017 ... 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 can UK rail become a global leader?

06/03/2018How can UK rail become a global leader?

Alison Dervis, EY director, explains why more diverse thinking, innovation and industry collaboration will help deliver transformative change to the railway industry. From late Georgian steam engines, to the multibillion-pound civil engineering projects of modern day, Britain’s railways have a legendary and inspiring tale to tell of... 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 >