Manchester Metrolink

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Manchester Metrolink

Metrolink Tram.jpg
Locale Greater Manchester
Transit type Light rail
Number of lines 3
Number of stations 37
Daily ridership 52,000
Headquarters Metrolink House,
Queens Road,
Began operation 6 April 1992
Operator(s) Stagecoach Group
Number of vehicles 32 Ansaldobreda T-68s
Train length 30 m (98 ft)
System length 37 km (23 mi)
Track gauge Standard gauge
Top speed 80 km/h (50 mph)

Manchester Metrolink[1] (branded and usually referred to as Metrolink) is a light rail system in Greater Manchester, England. There are three lines which join up in Manchester city centre. They serve the surrounding towns of Bury, Altrincham and Eccles. The system is owned by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE). It is operated under contract by Stagecoach Group.

In Manchester city centre the Metrolink trams run on the roads. Most of the routes in the suburbs use railway lines though. Lots of extensions to the system are currently under construction or have been proposed. In late 2008 works started extending the system to East Didsbury, Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Rochdale, Mediacity:uk and Manchester Airport. The expansions will increase the system's length from 37 km to 97 km. There will be at least 99 stops. On the 13th May 2009 funding was secured for phase 3b. Work will start from late 2009.[2][3] If funding can be obtained then there may be more extensions to the system. Stockport and The Trafford Centre are two examples.

History[change | change source]

Background[change | change source]

A 1910 map of railways in central Manchester

The construction of Manchester's railway network in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries had created a lot of termini around the City Centre. These were not linked together. This left a large amount of Manchester disconnected from the railway network.

For many years there had been plans to connect Manchester's two main railway stations. These are Piccadilly and Victoria. In the late 1960s and early 1970s there were plans for a "Picc-Vic tunnel". This tunnel would carry main-line trains under the city centre.[4] The proposal was abandoned because it would cost too much.

References[change | change source]