Latest Rail News


New Metrolink stop opens as the first step in Second City Crossing

Manchester’s expanding light rail network, Metrolink, gained an extra stop at the weekend with the start of services into Exchange Square, a busy shopping district in the city centre.

The opening of the new stop also marks the first tangible improvements for passengers of the Second City Crossing, which will run from St Peter’s Square along Princess Street, Cross Street and Corporation Street before re-joining the existing Metrolink line outside Victoria station.

Construction work kicked off in summer 2014 on the 0.6km stretch between Victoria station and Exchange Square following utility diversions, but has been “fast-tracked” with a European Regional Development Fund grant.

The new tram stop is fully accessible with ramped access, and has ticket machines, smart card readers, emergency facilities and a PA system, as well as a “clean and uncluttered” design.

It is the result of collaborations between Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Manchester City Council and architects to ensure it made the most of the limited space available while retaining pedestrian routes.

The stop also means commuters can already benefit from a six-minute daytime service between Shaw and Crompton, Oldham and Exchange Square from Monday to Saturday, with a less frequent service on Sundays.

It has brought the Metrolink tram stop count to a total of 93. As recently reported by RTM, Metrolink is close to overtaking London Tramlink as the third busiest light rail network in England.

Exchange Square web

Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Oldham line passengers are the first to benefit with increased services dropping them right on the doorstep of some of the city’s favourite shops, department stores, eateries and watering holes – and right in the middle of Christmas festivities.

“Getting the Exchange Square stop up and running weeks before Christmas is a significant achievement – and one that would not have happened without European funding to fast-track the work.”

Once it opens in 2017, the Second City Crossing will vastly increase capacity and network resilience in its busiest section. Deansgate-Castlefield and Victoria stops have both recently been transformed, while work at St Peter’s Square will carry on until next autumn. Trams can run through the stop, but they do not currently call there.

The main contractor for the Second City Crossing, delivered by TfGM in partnership with WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, is M-Pact Thales, a consortium between Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRal and Thales, with RATP Dev responsible for operating the network.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

View all News


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 >

Most Read

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


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 >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >