Manchester Metrolink - Manchester Metrolink Construction - B

Manchester Metrolink - B
Manchester Metrolink Construction
Parliamentary authority to proceed with Phase 1 construction was obtained with two Acts of Parliament – the Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) Act 1988 and Greater Manchester (Light Rapid Transit System) (No. 2) Act 1988.
  • Manchester Metrolink Phase 1: Bury, Altrincham and Manchester city centre
Beginning in July 1991, the first Phase of Metrolink involved the conversion of two suburban heavy rail lines to light rail operation — the Bury-Victoria line in the north and the Altrincham-Piccadilly line in the south — and the construction of a street-level tramway through the city centre to connect the two. Tracks were laid down along a 1.9-mile (3.1 km) route from Victoria station, via Market Street to the G-Mex, with a 0.4-mile (0.64 km) branch to Piccadilly station. This route is now known as the First City Crossing (1CC), and it was built with network expansion in mind.
A fleet of 26 AnsaldoBreda T-68 light rail vehicles was procured to operate the 19.2-mile (30.9 km) network. Construction was carried out by the GMA Group (a consortium of AMEC, GM Buses, John Mowlem & Company and GEC), costing £145 million (equivalent to £319 million in 2021).
Metrolink was initially scheduled to open in September 1991, but services did not begin until 1992, when the Bury Line opened as far as Victoria on 6 April. The first street-level trams began running on 27 April between Victoria and G-Mex (now Deansgate-Castlefield), the Altrincham line opened on 15 June, and the branch to Piccadilly station opened on 20 July. Metrolink was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 July 1992.
  • Manchester Metrolink Phase 2: Salford Quays, Eccles
In Phase 2 the Metrolink network was extended westwards to Eccles along the new 4-mile (6.4 km) Eccles Line, as part of the 1990s urban regeneration of Salford Quays, increasing the total Metrolink route length to 24 miles (39 km). The extension cost £160 million (equivalent to £287 million in 2021) and was funded by the GMPTA, the ERDF and private developers.
It was constructed 1997–99 by Altram (a consortium of Serco, Ansaldo and John Laing) and six new AnsaldoBreda T-68 A trams were bought to operate services. The line was inaugurated by Prime Minister Tony Blair on 6 December 1999 but temporarily terminated at Broadway as the street running section was completed. The complete line was officially opened by Princess Anne on 9 January 2001.
  • Manchester Metrolink Phase 3:
The Phase 3 extension project, nicknamed the "Big Bang", was promoted by GMPTE and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) in the early 2000s. The project, costing £489,000,000 (equivalent to £876 million in 2021), would create four new lines: the Oldham and Rochdale Line, the East Manchester Line, the South Manchester Line and the Airport Line. Phase 3 was put in doubt when central government funding was withdrawn due to increasing costs, but after negotiations with the Department for Transport, Phase 3 was split into two parts, 3a and 3b, to secure investment.
Phase 3b was delayed after a failed bid to raise funding through the Greater Manchester Transport Innovation Fund and a proposed traffic congestion charge in 2008. GMPTE and AGMA instead funded Phase 3b through a combination of council tax, government grants, Metrolink fares and contributions from the Manchester Airports Group and other bodies. The new 0.25-mile (0.40 km) spur off the Eccles Line to MediaCityUK was funded separately by the Northwest Regional Development Agency. As part of Phase 3, the original blue T-68 trams were also phased out and replaced with a new fleet of Bombardier M5000 trams, which entered service in December 2009.
  • Manchester Metrolink Phase 3a: Oldham, Rochdale, South and East Manchester
Beginning in October 2009, Phase 3a involved converting the 14-mile (23 km) Oldham Loop heavy rail line to light rail operation and adding several new tram stops on the route, re-opening a disused 1.7-mile (2.7 km) section of Cheshire Lines Committee railway to use as the first part of the South Manchester Line (to St Werburgh's Road), and building a new 4-mile (6.4 km) East Manchester Line as far as Droylsden. When completed in 2013, Phase 3a increased Metrolink's total network length to 43 miles (69 km).
  • Manchester Metrolink Phase 3b: Ashton-under-Lyne, East Didsbury and Manchester Airport
Phase 3b involved the construction of a new 9-mile (14 km) Airport Line to Manchester Airport, and extending three of the new Phase 3a lines: the East Manchester Line to Ashton-under-Lyne, the South Manchester Line to East Didsbury, and adding street-running routes through Oldham and Rochdale town centres to the Oldham and Rochdale Line. Construction work began in March 2011, and Phase 3b was completed in November 2014 with the opening of the Airport line.
  • Manchester Metrolink Phase 2CC – Second City Crossing
With increased tram traffic brought about by the expansion of the Metrolink network, it became necessary to build a new route across Manchester City Centre to alleviate congestion and improve capacity.
Known as the Second City Crossing (or 2CC), the project involved laying 0.8 miles (1.3 km) of tram tracks from St Peter's Square tram stop via Princess Street, Albert Square, Cross Street and Corporation Street to rejoin the original Metrolink line just before Victoria station. One new tram stop was built at Exchange Square. The project also involved re-ordering St Peter's Square and re-siting the Cenotaph to accommodate an enlarged tram interchange and junction. Construction began in 2014, and the 2CC route opened fully in February 2017.
Manchester Metrolink Trafford Park Extension
The Transport & Works Act Order for the 3.4 mile (5.4 km) Trafford Park Line was granted in October 2016. Enabling works began in January 2017. The line opened on 22 March 2020.
Manchester Metrolink Overview
Manchester Metrolink Owner: Transport for Greater Manchester
Manchester Metrolink Locale: Greater Manchester
Manchester Metrolink Transit Type: Tram/Light rail
Manchester Metrolink Number of Lines: 8
Manchester Metrolink Number of Stations: 99
Manchester Metrolink Annual Ridership: 36.0 million (2022/23)
Manchester Metrolink Increase: 38.5%
Manchester Metrolink Chief Executive: Danny Vaughan (TfGM Metrolink Director)
Manchester Metrolink Headquarters: Metrolink Trafford Depot
Warwick Road South
M16 0GZ
Manchester Metrolink Began Operation: 6 April 1992, 31 years ago
Manchester Metrolink Operator(s): KeolisAmey Metrolink Ltd.
Number of Vehicles: 147 Bombardier M5000
Manchester Metrolink Train Length: 28.4 metres (93 ft)
Manchester Metrolink System Length: 64 miles (103 km)
Manchester Metrolink Track Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Manchester Metrolink Minimum Radius of Curvature: 25 m (82 ft)
Manchester Metrolink Electrification: 750 V DC overhead line
Manchester Metrolink Top Speed: 50 miles per hour (80 km/h)
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