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Old December 16th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #81
MarkO
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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 biggest hole in any rail provision is inner South Manchester - coincidentally (or probably the cause of) the Oxford Road corridor being one of the most densely occupied bus routes in UK if not Europe.

There is now finally a provisional idea of running a future tram route down there towards Rusholme, Withington and to Didsbury (with maybe a section heading north via a new n-s city centre crossing into Salford - maybe as far as Bolton).

However this is only part of open discussions (mainly on SSC) of a potential Phase 4 - of which there is currently no official position on, and would, sadly, be quite a long time into the future, if ever.

:-(
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Old December 16th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #82
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Great, trams look a bit old fashioned compared to French ones but it's the utility that counts!
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Old December 17th, 2009, 03:10 AM   #83
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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 main reason is that the GMPTE has decided to focus its efforts on developing branches off the existing core route. After this project is completed, other than a few relatively short extensions and branches that system will be complete.

As fut.arc says there are plans to convert some of the local rail commuter services around Manchester to tram-train operation, but these SE-NW services will take a lot of time to plan, finance and implement becuase a) tram-train services aren't currently allowed to run in the UK and b) it would require another street running cross city route which would be a relatively expensive and disruptive piece of infrastructure.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #84
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Our new trams began the passenger carrying tests yesterday ahead of the official launch next week.






courtesy of wingtips
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Old December 18th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #85
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What will the tram routings be when all the extensions (and 2cc) have been built?
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Old December 18th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #86
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Great, trams look a bit old fashioned compared to French ones but it's the utility that counts!
Hope you like our new yellow trams, rode one few days ago in Passenger service for first time, and they are amazing.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 02:59 AM   #87
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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?
There used to be lots more passenger rail lines through the South East Manchester suburbs (such as the Fallowfield loop) some of which has been preserved or us being used as a cycle route but most of the stations are now gone or sold off (such as Fallowfield or Levenshulme South). I very much doubt any of them will ever reopen for light-rail but you never know.

The Metrolink extension to Stockport via Didsbury will remedy some of that as it will also cross a couple of the planned guided bus routes.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 10:46 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Lukas View Post
What will the tram routings be when all the extensions (and 2cc) have been built?
I guess you are talking about through workings across the city from one line to another?

If so, I asked this question to GMPTE at one of their exhibitions, but they were fairly non-committal, wanting to leave options open, perhaps.

It seems to be established, however, that Shaw/Rochdale will go through to Chorlton/East Didsbury, eventually via 2CC when built. Mention has also been made in the past of Rochdale - Airport, although Airport would need a 6 minute headway of its own, in addition to E Dids, presumably giving a joint 3 minute headway between St Werburgh's Road and Mcr.

Rochdale-Airport would actually be a mammoth journey in tramway terms, especially via Oldham Centre, although I would love enjoying all the different environments it would go through. However, I wonder would anyone at Rochdale Smith St wanting the airport, go all the way through by tram, something like 1 1/2 hours? Or by faster trains involving at least 2 changes with luggage? Interesting to speculate, but I know which I would do.

Droylsden/Ashton services will present an end-on 6 minute headway at Piccadilly, potentially to all other lines, but GMPTE say they have not decided on through workings yet. Looking purely at the map, an obvious East-West axis could be created to the Eccles line, although this only presents a 12 minute headway to Piccadilly just now. However, if 'Line of Sight' working allows MediaCity services also to run into Manchester, this would increase to 6 mins jointly from Harbour City.

For now, my bet is that Droylsden trams will operate alternately to Bury and Alti, extending the 6 minute joint headway which already exists from those lines into Piccadilly. I guess those particular workings will always be needed, to provide the link between main line stations which was an original raison d'etre of Metrolink.

That leaves the Trafford line, if ever built - pure speculation about where that would work to, perhaps no further than Piccadilly or, perhaps more likely, less-crowded Victoria? Lots of exciting journeys to look forward to anyway, especially now its all starting to happen!!!

Last edited by Johnny de Rivative; February 7th, 2010 at 09:36 PM.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 04:52 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny de Rivative View Post
:
It seems to be established, however, that Shaw/Rochdale will go through to Chorlton/East Didsbury, eventually via 2CC when built....... Lots of exciting journeys to look forward to anyway, especially now its all starting to happen!!! :cheers
Brilliantly explained Mr de Rivative (and great username btw) but I'm still wondering how they will show these (or any other) routings on a future map - service numbers? Colours? Would be interesting to know their thinking.

Here's a map I prepared ages ago with the help of Robin Woods at Communicarta (we know now that not all the routings shown here are likely but I place it here for people to talk about the best way of delineating each service....)
image hosted on flickr
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:27 PM   #90
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Mark I'd love to see a version of your map with all the routes that should be built in the next few years (Airport, Oldham and Rochdale town centres, Didsbury, Ashton, 2nd City Crossing) and then one with all the proposed routes on as well (Trafford, Stockport, Marple tram-train).

When Phase 3 lines are completed there will be three city centre routes: Picc-Vic, Vic-GMex and GMex-Picc each of which can take about 20 trams an hour maximum. The preference of the peope running Metrolink has always seemed to be to make sure that each route has a connection to Piccadilly Station to allow integrated journeys between rail and Metrolink. However this means splitting the services serving each line as not everything can go via Piccadilly as there isn't track capacity. If we divide half the trams from each route at the point of the triangle they approach (so half that go to Picc and half don't) from we'd get something like the following service pattern.

Picc-Vic (Total 10 trams hr)

Bury-Ashton -5 trams/hr
Rochdale-Picc - 5 trams/hr

Picc-GMex (Total 20 trams/hr)

Alty - Ashton - 5 trams/hr
Didsbury - Picc - 5 trams/hr
Airport - Picc - 5 trams/hr
Mediacity - Picc - 5 trams/hr

Vic-GMex (Total 20 trams/hr)

Bury - Alty - 5 trams/hr
Shaw - Didsbury - 5 trams/hr
Airport to Vic - 5 trams/hr
Eccles to Vic - 5 trams/hr

Whether Picc can take 30 trams an hour is open to question, and it might be better to provide a turnback for some Picc terminating services further east (at Sport City) to improve reliability. A similar facility might be provided at Queen's Road and Central Park to reduce the pressure of trams turning back at Victoria. The Trafford line would provide a further 5 trams/hr from the south of the city which would be problematic unless it's joined to the Eccles route as a loop and uses the same paths on the GMex-Vic route through town. The Stockport extension would simply be joined onto the Didsbury line, using the same paths through the city centre. The proposed Marple tram-train could be linked into some of the Picc terminators without needing extra paths leaving the following city centre service patterns.

Picc-Vic (Total 10 trams hr)

Bury-Ashton -5 trams/hr
Rochdale-Marple - 5 trams/hr

Picc-GMex (Total 20 trams/hr)

Alty - Ashton - 5 trams/hr
Didsbury - Sport City - 5 trams/hr
Airport - Sport City - 5 trams/hr
Mediacity - Marple - 5 trams/hr

Vic-GMex (Total 20 trams/hr)

Bury - Alty - 5 trams/hr
Shaw - Stockport - 5 trams/hr
Airport to Queen's Road - 5 trams/hr
Eccles/Traffor Loop to Central Park - 5 trams/hr

After that it all falls apart a bit.

Last edited by Cherguevara; December 22nd, 2009 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Because I deleted my first paragraph
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:04 PM   #91
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MarkO - your map pretty much sums up how I've been led to believe the new system will eventually run. I'm sure they will be some tweaking along the way, but you've done a good job at explaining the core routes for the newbies on here.

Infact, maybe at some point you could update the map to include the Chorlton/East Discbury and Droylsden/Ashton extensions. Both of these additions seem to be fully funded and should come to fruition in the near future.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 01:33 AM   #92
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Wow! Cheers guys!

That is an outstandingly clear and useful list Che.

Yeah, Marky, I do need to have a look at refining it with the 3b sections and latest thoughts on where all the services will run. Will get on to the wonderful Robin next year and see if can help us out.

Thanks for your thoughts and lets make sure we all get the very best map for what is gonna be the UKs biggest light rail system :-)

And obviously we'll put the correct name at Pollard St - unless GMPTE get Matt Lucas to open the station????!!! ;-)
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 02:06 AM   #93
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New Trams

The first of the new Bombardier M5000 trams was delivered in July. The preliminary tranche of 8 has now been delivered and will be used to improve the service on the existing lines, a further 32 will be delivered for the 3 new lines.

The first of the new trams officaly entred service on the 21st of December.



local news report (unfortionately contains some factual inaccuracies)


only tram 3003 is officaly in service. (as the name suggests, it was the third to be delivered)


the bald man in the centre is Phil Purdy, the Australian brought in from Melborne to run the system and manage the expansion projects. The member of staff is wearing the new uniform, which i think looks much more professional.

image hosted on flickr

at least we know that the new trams work well in cold weather and snow, harldly surprising because they are a variant of trams in use in Cologne, Germany.

image hosted on flickr

the other 7 new trams are expected to be introduced soon. they are a welcome and long overdue addition to Manchesters streets. Metrolink has suffered from being 'built on the cheap' and underfunding since it opened 16 years ago.

Last edited by future.architect; December 23rd, 2009 at 02:28 AM.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:37 PM   #94
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Quote:
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Metrolink has suffered from being 'built on the cheap' and underfunding since it opened 16 years ago.
As usual FA is completely correct here.

For our international observers, public transport in the UK - especially urban rail provision outside the capital - can be summed up like this: Third World

The balance of investment in Britain's major provincial conurbations compared to that spent in London is absurd.

While no one denies London needs first class class transport, our gripe is that so little has been spent in the other big cities that they have fallen disastrously behind similar sized, non-capital cities in virtually every other country in the developed world.

So you have the situation like this (showing number of stations or stops for each mode):


........URBAN AREA....................POPULATION...METRO......TRAM.....BUILDING
  • Greater London.................7,512,400.......306..........39........5
  • Greater Manchester...........2,568,600.......0.............37........27
  • Birmingham/West Midlands.2,619,500.......0.............23........0
  • Leeds/West Yorkshire.........2,198,800......0..............0.........0
  • 'Greater Glasgow'..............1,199,629......15.............0.........0
  • Liverpool/Merseyside.........1,360,400......0...............0.........0
  • Sheffield/West Yorkshire....1,305,900......0...............48.......0
  • Newcastle/Tyneside...........1,093,882......60.............0.........0
  • Edinburgh Urban................772,400........0..............0..........21
  • 'Greater Nottingham'..........666,358........0..............23.........0

Just to reiterate before some bright spark jumps in and says how important London is as the capital city etc...yes, we know! No-one is saying London should not have what its got and more - but the table simply goes to show how much else is needed in the other centres of population.

Though they will never get an 'equivilant' system to London, they SHOULD ALL have more trams and the biggest conurbations like Manch, Brum, Leeds, Liverpool could probably all easily accomodate at least one or two full metro lines.

I won't embarrass Britain any further by posting a table of France, Spain, Germany and even Italy's provincial cities coz it's been done before and everyone knows how much better served they are than the British ones. Suffice to say to UK: GET ON WITH IT!!!

Last edited by MarkO; December 23rd, 2009 at 12:40 PM. Reason: typo/spacing - blimey! tables are difficult to make on SSC!
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 01:41 PM   #95
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A Melbournian is running the show?

Did he used to have a position here with Yarra Trams or something?
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 05:59 PM   #96
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Well, Liverpool does have Merseyrail, which is definately metro-like, although its coverage is not nearly as good as it should be, especially in the inner areas.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 08:54 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkO View Post
As usual FA is completely correct here.

For our international observers, public transport in the UK - especially urban rail provision outside the capital - can be summed up like this: Third World

The balance of investment in Britain's major provincial conurbations compared to that spent in London is absurd.

While no one denies London needs first class class transport, our gripe is that so little has been spent in the other big cities that they have fallen disastrously behind similar sized, non-capital cities in virtually every other country in the developed world.

.....

I won't embarrass Britain any further by posting a table of France, Spain, Germany and even Italy's provincial cities coz it's been done before and everyone knows how much better served they are than the British ones. Suffice to say to UK: GET ON WITH IT!!!
Is there some anti-Metro (or broader anti-rail) contingent in the U.K. outside of London? A lot of continental European cities with populations smaller than Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and Leeds have metros or systems that might as well be metros (Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Bohcum, most Rhineland cities in Germany). Is there some odd aversion to underground construction? Pretty strange, coming from the country that gave us the Underground in the first place. Manchester, especially, seems it would be better served by an underground line, as does Liverpool from what I've seen.

Also, I thought I saw an article somewhere about a possible "east side" extension of the Glasgow subway. Is anything still going on with this? I thought that Manchester and Liverpool had existing tunnels that were going to be converted to light rail use? Has this plan been scuttled? Or maybe I was misinformed.

Based on recent construction news, the U.K. seems to think that street-running tramways are the only feasible way to go for rail public transport in it's cities (excepting Leeds, which gets nothing). Of course, this is better than most of North American cities, which get infrequent bus service or nothing at all.

Here in the U.S., we seem to have a problem with everything being done on the cheap; cities that should have metros get tram networks or a streetcar or monorail circulator, those that should have tram networks get "BRT", and at the bottom of the barrel those that should have buses get nothing. We also have a culture that is at best lukewarm and at worst hostile to all public transit. So our politicians build inadequate systems because they can do it for a lower cost than a metro. For example, Seattle (pop. 580,000) recently got a one-line light rail metro, a city of it's size and density should have got a full metro system like Atlanta or Baltimore.

Maybe it's a cultural issue... Europeans seem more willing to invest in public transport than Americans, Canadians and Britons.

Last edited by Dan78; December 23rd, 2009 at 09:12 PM.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 02:24 PM   #98
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Quote:
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Maybe it's a cultural issue... Europeans seem more willing to invest in public transport than Americans, Canadians and Britons.
You are spot on. In this country tax is a dirty word and people think they need a car to drive aboslutely everywhere. The only exception is london which has a transport system light years ahead of anywhere else in the coutry and the density and congestion make it unfeesable to drive in the city centre anyway.

Another thing about the UK is that outside london, the density of the cities is lower than you mighy find in mainland europe. Barcelona for example has 10 underground metro lines and two tam lines with a population of 2.5 million, the same as Manchester. but Barcelona is a very compact city. most people live in apartments in the centre of the city. Most people in Manchester live in low density suburbs.

I think Manchester could support a few underground lines. Maybe 3 or 4 but i cant see this happening any time soon.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #99
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Quote:
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Maybe it's a cultural issue... Europeans seem more willing to invest in public transport than Americans, Canadians and Britons.
Or Australians... Actually, maybe it's just a malaise of the English speaking world! I'm generalising of course.

Cairns (pop: 140K and rapidly growing) has no urban rail system whatsoever; no trams and a rather paltry bus system. We have a train station that connects us to the rest of Aus with three trains a week!

Our MP is virulently anti-public transport despite the fact the Cairns' linear layout would be ideal for a single light rail or tram line covering about two thirds of the city running north-south.

You don't realise how much you appreciate Britain's public transport until you no longer have that level of service, even though it could be better...
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Old December 24th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #100
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Old and new...

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Another nice shot by 47118 on Flickr

2003 and 3003 on the Eccles line

image hosted on flickr


http://www.flickr.com/photos/47118s-pixs/4203457613/
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