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Tram-train to be considered for Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester has approved plans to develop a tram-train strategy for the city.

It could entail light rail and heavy rail carriages sharing the same tracks.

A report outlining proposals for a network has been agreed by the TfGM committee’s capital projects and policy sub-committee. An initial study into the feasibility, cost and benefits of routes will now be taken forward.

Possible routes include Manchester to Marple via Bredbury (this route has the most economic viability, TfGM said); or Manchester-Atherton-Wigan; Manchester-Glossop; Manchester-Sale-Altrincham-Hale-Knutsford; Manchester-East Didsbury-Hazel Grove; or Stockport-Altrincham.

Tram-train could give more frequent access to the city centre and the ongoing cost would be met by fare revenue, the committee said.

The TfGM committee chair, Cllr Andrew Fender, said: “I am delighted that clear progress has been made with the identification of the potential for tram-train in Greater Manchester.

“Track-sharing between heavy and light rail trains with street-running capability is already well established in continental Europe, especially in Germany.

“Not only are there numerous benefits to commuters, such as increased capacity and frequency and better inner-city connectivity, but tram-trains also have the potential to be financially self-sustaining.

“At this point however, tram-train very much remains a long-term project for Greater Manchester, making it difficult to identify potential implementation dates or funding.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at

(Library image shows a Metrolink tram next to a Northern train)


Pedr   06/06/2014 at 15:09

Porthmadog has had trains running on a tramway for two or three years now without significant problems. The new station cost just over £1m and was supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Government. There has been regrettably little mention of it in RTM. What can be done in a small Welsh port can surely be replicated on a grander scale in Manchester.

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