Track and signalling

25.01.19

Plans for tram-trains in Manchester unveiled as Grayling and Burnham mull expansion of Metrolink

Proposals for an expansion of Greater Manchester’s (GM) tram network are in the works, Chris Grayling and Andy Burnham have announced, with plans for greater devolved control for the region and the introduction of tram-trains being considered.

A range of proposals are being explored by the DfT, Network Rail, and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) who will bring forward the plans before this summer.

Making the announcement, the transport secretary and Greater Manchester mayor also stated their agreement for the need for a “positive collaborative approach” to help unlock the potential of HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, and the transformation of GM’s bus network.

Innovative tram-train systems, recently introduced for the first time in Sheffield, could be coming to Manchester, which would see an increase in rail capacity as well as reduce congestion, improve air quality, and introduce more frequent journeys across the city-region.

Burnham that GM’s transport network and infrastructure was holding back a growing city-region, but that today’s announcement would build on the masterplan announced by the combined authority earlier this month.

Burnham stated: “Bringing innovative tram-trains to Greater Manchester with greater local control and better integration of our transport system is a key part of this vision and I’m pleased that the government supports this ambition.

“I also welcome the government’s commitment to working together to deliver bus reform and secure the best possible outcomes for Greater Manchester and the north from both Northern Powerhouse Rail and High Speed 2.”

Grayling commented: “Metrolink has been transformative for Greater Manchester and I want to see the network expand.

“A Greater Manchester tram-train also has the potential to seamlessly integrate our existing rail and tram tracks and services. We will work closely to explore proposals which would see Transport for Greater Manchester running more services, underlining our belief in greater local control.”

Image credit -  SAKhanPhotography

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