Latest Rail News

22.01.15

Stockport closer to being connected to Metrolink with a tram-train

Plans to use a tram-train service to connect Stockport to the Metrolink network are moving forward, with the publication of a professional study by Atkins into its feasibility.  

The plans involve the existing Marple to Manchester Piccadilly service being adapted to a tram-train system, and in turn connected to Stockport town centre. The new southern ‘orbital’ route would run from Reddish through the Heatons into Stockport and then out through Edgeley, Cheadle Heath, Cheadle, Gatley and Baguley.

The basic idea has been discussed for a number of years and briefly discussed by Metrolink director Peter Cushing in an interview with RTM late last year, but has been fleshed out in more detail this week.

A Department for Transport-funded £60m pilot scheme for tram-trains is currently taking place in South Yorkshire, which would see a light rail vehicle run on the disused heavy rail freight line between Rotherham and Sheffield.

Transport for Greater Manchester has been interested in tram-trains since 2012 and in 2013 approved plans to develop a tram-train strategy for the region.

Tram train map

The Atkins study notes: “The Greater Manchester Metrolink is of a different design to the Sheffield trams and as such it is anticipated there may be fewer technical issues. The outcome of the pilot is expected to influence the prospects for tram-train elsewhere in the UK.

“In the Stockport area the introduction of the tram-train concept would enable the use of underutilised rail lines, thereby potentially reducing the capital cost of transport schemes. It would potentially enable existing rail networks to be expanded by creating new on-street sections, which connect into the existing Metrolink network and improving transport connectivity across Greater Manchester.”

Cheadle MP Mark Hunter told the Manchester Evening News: “These proposals, backed by Stockport council and TfGM, are a major step forward and there’s now a real opportunity to have trams running on the new line in a decade or less. We have a solid economic case, but there is still a lot of work to do. We have to show that this has strong community support and a good business case if we’re going to get the funding to get this on the ground.”

The proposals come in a rail study for Stockport published jointly by Stockport Council and TfGM.

However Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, has indicated it is more of a long-term project for the area.

He said: “At this point, tram-train is one of the longer term projects for Greater Manchester and it is something we will continue to support as strongly as we can.

“Since we agreed an initial strategy at the end of 2013, a lot of detailed work has been undertaken to ensure that, as and when the opportunity arises in terms of both funding and powers, we can realise the benefits of tram-train as soon as possible.

“This very useful report from Stockport Council will feed into our future plans and inform our ongoing engagement with Rail North.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Jb   23/01/2015 at 18:53

This sounds like a very long term proposal. What we need along the Stockport - Altrincham route is the ability to board the existing trains at reinstated Cheadle, Gatley/Northenden and Baguley stations (and possibly others in the Wythenshawe district). These need only be platforms with shelters, lighting and access and not cost a fortune. Why is this not considered possible in the immediate future? I would guess that an acceptable stops could be built at these locations within a year if the will was there.

Cg   05/02/2015 at 18:29

I recently found out about the proposed scheme of allowing tram trains running on the existing train line directly behind my house. At the moment there are very few freight trains running on this line. Once this changes, the new tram trains, I expect will be running on a regular, frequent basis. This is going to cause an upheaval in our privacy and constant noise. I would like to know if we would get financially compensated to allow me to get triple glazing and higher fences.

Irwin   05/04/2015 at 22:27

Why the investment? A few extra trains at rush hour, midday and weekends would do the trick rather than several million pounds and inconvenience for residents.

BRIAN LAITHWAITE   04/06/2015 at 09:08

WHY IS STOCKPORT BEING LEFT BEHIND, TRAMS RUN NORT, WEST AND EAST BUT NOT SOUTH, WHY? IS IT BECAUSE WE ARE NOT A LABOUR AUTHORITY OR WE ARE ALL USING CARS ETC. WE DESERVE BETTER AND SOONER. I AM VERY DISGRUNTLED. DOESN'T THE BURY LINE RUN ON RAIL TRACKS? SO WHY THE HOLD UP HERE!!!!!!

Pus Juice Mcsquirter   13/01/2017 at 19:50

Yep, it's all backhanders. Rochdale, Eccles, Oldham, Ashton, all the dumps get the Met before Stockport.

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >