Latest Rail News

10.10.13

Trams arrive early for Ashton

The Manchester Metrolink route to Ashton-under-Lyne has opened early, TfGM has announced. 

The first service ran at 5.59am yesterday (Wednesday), months ahead of schedule – a welcome change compared to previous extensions, many of which (including the Chorlton and Oldham lines) opened only after long delays. 

The work has added 3.4km of track and four new stops to the East Manchester line. Trams will run from Ashton to Piccadilly every 12 minutes and the journey will take just over 30 minutes. 

Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “The early arrival of trams to Ashton is fantastic news and a real boon for Tameside. 

“I am particularly pleased that the last Government committed funding for this project before the last general election. This ensured that the contract was signed before the spending axe fell. 

“This is the second time this year we have delivered a new Metrolink line several months ahead of schedule and I’d like to thank the teams involved for all their hard work in getting us to this point.” 

trams arrive BOTTOM PIC

Martin Murphy, programme director for Manchester Metrolink at Thales UK, which has previously been involved in contractual and legal disputes with TfGM over the delivery of the new network, said: “The launch of the extension of the line to Ashton-under-Lyne follows a year of successful delivery by the Thales team which has included service extensions to East Manchester, Rochdale, and East Didsbury and the migration to the new Network Management Centre. This delivery performance has been complemented by improvements in the final product quality.” 

The news was also welcomed by TramForward. 

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

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