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European Railroad Discussion > On Manchester's Metrolink


Date: 02/02/23 01:58
On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: 86235

On Tuesday, courtesy of Transport for Wales RailSale, I took the train from Abergavenny to Manchester, a journey of slightly under three hours. I like Manchester, it has something for everyone, great Victorian architecture, a wide range of museums and galleries, a vigorous arts scene and, of course, railways including the Metrolink tram network, the UK's largest with almost 40 route miles. The first line opened in 1992, the most recent, to the Trafford Centre, in 2020. It's a mixture of converted heavy rail, new private right of way and street running. The trams themselves are bland, modern vehicles - Bombardier Flexity Swift M5000 - of which Metrolink has almost 150. They are bi-directional units which can work in multiple, a twin unit train (a dbl in Metrolink-speak) is quite impressive. So here are a few pictures I took whilst riding part of the network on Tuesday.

1: Rochdale is a former mill town 11 miles N-NE of Manchester, Metrolink serves Rochdale via a (mostly) former heavy rail link via Oldham. Here a dbl service descends to street level for the final half a mile into the town centre.

2: I caught a service back into the city centre via Oldham. This is the site of the once main heavy rail station in Oldham - Mumps, today Metrolink has been diverted via street running through Oldham Town Centre.

3: Looking the other way a Rochdale bound dbl leaving the street running.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/23 02:29 by 86235.








Date: 02/02/23 02:12
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: 86235

4: Another dbl from Rochdale to East Didsbury arriving at Mumps.
5: One of the most impressive stops on Metrolink is the four platform Victoria adjacent to Manchester Victoria, the former Lancashire & Yorkshire station, one of two main stations serving the city, the other is Piccadilly. An East Didsbury bound dbl leaves
6: St Peter's Square; there are two routes across the city centre, between Victoria and St Peter's Square, this dbl service is coming off the Exchange Square line.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/23 15:16 by 86235.








Date: 02/02/23 02:16
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: 86235

Last three shots were all taken at the Deansgate / Castlefield stop on the south side of the city centre and adjacent to the former Manchester Central Station, now a conference and convention centre. Deansgate / Castlefield is the interchange station for the new Trafford Centre line, hence the three platform layout.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/23 15:14 by 86235.








Date: 02/02/23 18:28
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: tq-07fan

Great set Nick! My dad and I got to ride a little of the Manchester Metro back in 2013.

I took a Before shot for your picture 3 back on Sept 16 2013. My dad and I rode the tram to Oldham to catch a bus over to Greenfield for the afternoon. At the time the tram ran on temporary trackage around Oldham.

Jim




Date: 02/03/23 00:29
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: 86235

tq-07fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great set Nick! My dad and I got to ride a little
> of the Manchester Metro back in 2013.
>
> I took a Before shot for your picture 3 back on
> Sept 16 2013. My dad and I rode the tram to Oldham
> to catch a bus over to Greenfield for the
> afternoon. At the time the tram ran on temporary
> trackage around Oldham.
>
> Jim

Thanks Jim, the last time I went through Oldham was in heavy rail days, in 2003. Presumably the tram followed the old heavy rail formation through Werneth whilst the street running section was being built.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/23 00:32 by 86235.



Date: 02/03/23 00:57
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: railsmith

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> tq-07fan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Great set Nick! My dad and I got to ride a
> little
> > of the Manchester Metro back in 2013.
> >
> > I took a Before shot for your picture 3 back on
> > Sept 16 2013. My dad and I rode the tram to
> Oldham
> > to catch a bus over to Greenfield for the
> > afternoon. At the time the tram ran on
> temporary
> > trackage around Oldham.
> >
> > Jim
>
> Thanks Jim, the last time I went through Oldham
> was in heavy rail days, in 2003. Presumably the
> tram followed the old heavy rail formation through
> Werneth whilst the street running section was
> being built.

The street running section in Oldham town centre opened in January 2014.  Earlier, the heavy-rail line had been converted to Metrolink as far as Oldham Mumps in June 2012, then on to Shaw & Crompton in December 2012, and finally to Rochdale in February 2013. So Jim's visit was a few months before the street running section opened, but the line was already open to Rochdale.



Date: 02/03/23 02:30
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: 86235

railsmith Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The street running section in Oldham town centre
> opened in January 2014.  Earlier, the heavy-rail
> line had been converted to Metrolink as far as
> Oldham Mumps in June 2012, then on to Shaw &
> Crompton in December 2012, and finally to Rochdale
> in February 2013. So Jim's visit was a few months
> before the street running section opened, but the
> line was already open to Rochdale.

Thanks.



Date: 02/03/23 08:40
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: dwatry

Aha an LRT system I have not ridden yet!  Hope to ride it someday....Great photos!



Date: 02/03/23 13:02
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: 86235

dwatry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Aha an LRT system I have not ridden yet!  Hope to
> ride it someday....Great photos!

Thanks, it's well worth it.



Date: 02/07/23 07:39
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: joemvcnj

Are those the original cars from 1992 ? 



Date: 02/07/23 09:04
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: Hexagon789

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are those the original cars from 1992 ? 

No, those are Bombarier M5000s, delivered in four batches from 2009 to 2022. The first batch was for the Airport service, the successive batches were to replace the T68s and allow for more capacity. The last of the original T68s were withdrawn back in 2014. The M5000s are four times more reliable than the T68s were in their heyday - miles per technical failure (i.e. a failure which completely disables a tram) are over 20,000 miles now against about 5,000 for the T68s.



Date: 02/23/23 01:45
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: DNRY122

Thanks for the coverage!  I rode the Manchester Metrolink in 1993, when the Los Angeles area Metrolink (diesel powered commuter trains) had opened about half a year earlier.  We were staying in York; one day my wife did a tour of a "stately mansion" while I used my Britrail pass to visit Manchester via Leeds.  I even spotted what I presume was a trainspotter at Manchester Piccadilly wearing an anorak and carrying a notebook.  
 



Date: 02/23/23 07:15
Re: On Manchester's Metrolink
Author: 86235

DNRY122 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I even spotted what
> I presume was a trainspotter at Manchester
> Piccadilly wearing an anorak and carrying a
> notebook.  

:-)



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