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Old September 8th, 2009, 09:17 PM   #61
dwdwone
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Pretty impressive. Is there no underground section? I know here in Dallas they are going to have to build one because of the increased traffic in the downton section due o expansion with the new lines.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #62
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Mah zeh al harakevet b'Manchester?
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Old September 9th, 2009, 05:59 AM   #63
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It's about time. 'Tis a shame that the UK's rail transit networks lag so far behind continental Europe's.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 01:59 PM   #64
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It is. Manchester has been producing proposals for transit systems for most of the past 100 years but none of them even broke ground before Metrolink. I suppose that's a function of the city's relative decline from one of the most important economic regions in the world to, well, not being a particularly important economic region.

The good thing about Metrolink, while it may not be the most extensive or prestigious system in the world is that it operates at a profit. This combined with the relative cheapness of light rail makes it a much more viable investment than other systems. Hopefully this means it can keep growing after this expansion.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #65
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We now have 5 new trams as of Friday. Which are under testing on the Bury Line.
Thanks to metman123 for the pic


and heres number 5 on the back of a truck.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/a-l-e-s...n/photostream/

You'll have to click the link. I can't hotlink the image for some daft reason.

For more updates visit this the forum link....
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=866944
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Old October 27th, 2009, 12:57 AM   #66
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Impressive expansion plan.

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Old December 14th, 2009, 03:49 AM   #67
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MANCHESTER | Metrolink

Introduction
The railway age began in Manchester. The Manchester and Liverpool railway opened in 1830 and was the first steam powered passenger railway in the world.

At its peak, Manchesters rail network concisted of four major stations and lines to all parts of the country.

By the 1980's only two of these stations (Piccadilly and Victoria) where still operational. Located 1.5 km away from each other, the first proposed scheme to link them directly was the 'Picc Vicc tunnel' which was an underground railway. This was canceled due to escalating costs, Manchesters geology is difficult to tunnel through.

In 1984 the first proposals for a modern tram system where made. Like almost all UK cities (apart from blackpool), Manchester had closed its tram system by the 1950's. The new system would be the first modern tram system in the UK.

By 1987 the proposal had evolved to resemble the network as it is today. It was decided to convert the Altrincham to Manchetester line in the south and the Bury (pronounced Berry) to Manchester line in the north. The Bury line had unique and non-standard electrification infrastructure and trains which need replacing. The Altrincham line was chosen due to its falling passenger numbers. Both lines would be joined by a street running section in the city centre. The main rail stations would be linked by the city centre line, fullfilling the role of the Picc-Vic tunnel.

Construction work began in 1990 with the network opening in 1992.


A tram running on the street in the city centre. The building in the background was central station. It closed in 1969 and is now used as a conference/exhibition centre.

The first expansion of Metrolink opened in the 2001. Phase 2, known as the Eccles Line is a 4km extension to the west, passing through Manchesters regenerated docklands.


One of 6 new trams crossing the Manchester ship canal on the Eccles line


Recent Developments
Eccles was never supposed to be the final destination for Metrolink. The 'Big Bang project was first reveled in the late 1990's. It envisioned a line to Oldham and Rochdale in the north reusing a dissused rail line and converting a heavy rail line to Metrolink. To the East, there would be an extension to Ashton-Under-Lyne, Passing the main site of the 2002 comonwealth games. To the south there would be an extension to the suburb of Chorlton, here the line would branch into two with one supr ending at Manchester airport and on going to stockport. The funding for these lines, known as 'phase 3' took longer to organise. In 2003, the government withdrew its promise of money as the costs had doubled. This lead to a high profile campain to re start the projects. By 2004 the project was back on track, but in a sligtly smaler form. The extension to Stockport was dropped altogeher and the scheme was split into two parts: phase 3a and phase 3b. Phase 3a was authorised but 3b needed more funding in order to be built.


Map of the 3 phases

Currently, all the phase 3a lines are under construction. The funding for phase 3b was agreed earlier this year. Work on phase 3b is expected to start in 2010.

Gallery of current developments


One of the 40 new trams, ordered for the expansion projects being tested in the city centre. At least 6 have been delivered since the summer. They are due to begin taking passengers from mid December 2009 (this week! )

Over the summer, all of the track in the city centre was ripped up and rebuilt. It had been badly instaled when the system was built. Its poor state contributed to a number of de railments. When the city centre was closed, 2 stops where completely rebuilt and enlarged. The new brand identity was applied to all the city centre stops.

[IMG]http://i37.************/6dvblk.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i35.************/2011ys2.jpg[/IMG]

Metrolink are in the process of replacing all of the existing unreliable and antiquated ticket machines with new ones which can take credit cards.

image hosted on flickr


Durning august, the Altricham line was closed to enable the overhead lines to be replaced. This was also used as an oportunity to improve the stations and change them to the new style and to insert the junctions for the new depot into the line. The new depot is being built between the Old Trafford and Trafford Bar stops. This was the new depot last week:
image hosted on flickr


An Altrincham line station in the new style

Work on the phase 3 lines is progressing well.





First rails being laid on the Ashton line


due to open fully in 2012


The Chorlton/Didsbury/Airport/Stockport line in september. This line closed to passangers in 1967 and closed to freight in 1989


It is due to open as Metrolink in mid spring 2011



The Media City line is a 400 metre long spur of the Eccles line, built to serve a new media quarter under construction in Manchesters former docks. It will open in the summer of 2010



The new trams will also be used to improve the service on the existing lines

When the phase 3 project is complete the network will look like this.

A second route accross the city centre will be provided to add extra redundancy to the service. This will open in 2016.

After Phase 3
There are a number of projects intended to be completed after phase 3 inluding the route to Stockport. It is hoped that the new funding model will make it much easier for new lines to be built.
These are exciting times for Manchester Metrolink. After years of cancelations and false starts, it is shocking to see new trams on the street and new lines being built.

Follow the progress:
Metrolink Construction

General Metrolink Chat

Last edited by future.architect; December 14th, 2009 at 06:06 AM.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 11:36 AM   #68
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Brilliant thread, thank you Future Architect.

This is such a great system and is a credit to the powers that be in Manchester that after many delays and cancellations it's finally happening.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #69
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Great to have this thread live here and bravo to FA for an excellent opening post.

Even with just the first part of the construction complete (2012/13) this will mean Manchester has the largest light rail network in the UK (a huge achievement given all the broken promises of successive governments).

For anyone interested in the history of all this, plus lively discussions from fellow forummers on possible future extensions, whiz over to
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=584932
and
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=866944
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Old December 14th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by future.architect View Post
Introduction
The railway age began in Manchester. The Manchester and Liverpool railway opened in 1830 and was the first steam powered passenger railway in the world.
I thought it was the Stockton & Darlington Railway? The first steam powered passenger service on S&DR began on 27 September 1825 and I believe it was this that contributed to the development of the Manchester to Liverpool line.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #71
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Correct, first steam passenger service was S&D, first intercity service 5 years later was Manchester-Liverpool.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roobarb! View Post
I thought it was the Stockton & Darlington Railway? The first steam powered passenger service on S&DR began on 27 September 1825 and I believe it was this that contributed to the development of the Manchester to Liverpool line.
The Liverpool and manchester railway was designed to carry passengers from the outset and was the first to have locomotives to pull the trains the majority of the way.

Anyway, this thread is about Metrolink.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 08:55 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roobarb! View Post
I thought it was the Stockton & Darlington Railway? The first steam powered passenger service on S&DR began on 27 September 1825 and I believe it was this that contributed to the development of the Manchester to Liverpool line.
Actually, that isn't the case. Although some passengers were carried on the opening day (in chaldron wagons and a wooden hut on wheels) the only locomotive hauled trains in the early years were coal trains. These coexisted rather uneasily with horse drawn traffic that paid a toll for the privilege of using the line (including a horse drawn passenger coach).

Nevertherless, the line was the inspiration for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. The latter is considered the first modern railway because the passenger and goods trains were locomotive hauled (except for a short section at the Liverpool end where cable haulage was employed) and ran to a timetable.

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Old December 14th, 2009, 09:31 PM   #74
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Wonderful bright new thread at the dawning of a new era! It complements the very thoroughly researched one at lrta.org. , which covers the history in very great detail.

Here is a picture called "Tameside City Limits - at the Dawn of Metrolink in the East" :-



Now that the old bank has been demolished at the corner of Edge Lane to make way for Metrolink, a more panoramic view of the Pennines rises up in the distance, as you climb the hill out of Manchester.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 10:40 PM   #75
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Great post future.architect. The last ten years have been very disappointing for those of us who have wanted to see an expansion of light rail networks in the UK. Hopefully, things will change and we have to congratulate Manchester for sticking to its vision.
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Old December 15th, 2009, 10:44 AM   #76
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Wow, I didn't know so much progress had already been made on the 'Big Bang' expansion of the network. Great to get this update!
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Old December 15th, 2009, 10:40 PM   #77
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The Metrolink is one of the things I am most proud of about Manchester. That said it is essential otherwise it will left be behind. Now all we need is a pure renewable energy source so the trams will keep running when the oil runs out.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 02:11 AM   #78
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LOL I thought I read that somewhere before,.... didn't someone find loose wire connectors and chicken bones in their box.
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Old December 16th, 2009, 10:35 AM   #79
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Is there any reason why there doesn't seem to be any plans to extend the Metrolink into Manchester's South East suburbs?

Is that area already well covered with rail lines and doesn't need the MetroLink?

Or are there just no plans as of yet?
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Old December 16th, 2009, 11:26 AM   #80
future.architect
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Quote:
Originally Posted by city_thing View Post
Is there any reason why there doesn't seem to be any plans to extend the Metrolink into Manchester's South East suburbs?

Is that area already well covered with rail lines and doesn't need the MetroLink?

Or are there just no plans as of yet?
The south east and the west of the city is faily well covered by heavy rail lines. However, there is talk of converting the line to Marple (in the south east) into a train-tram line. This may happen sooner rather than later as the governemnt seem to want to trail the concept of train-trams.

Last edited by future.architect; December 16th, 2009 at 11:31 AM.
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