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Old January 31st, 2010, 08:11 PM   #61
heatonparkincakes
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Erm the so called tram-train from Wigan was proposed to go down Chapel St?
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Old January 31st, 2010, 09:07 PM   #62
Nathan Dawz
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A previous idea of a 'Universities line' (posted a while ago, I can't remember) was quite good:

An extension from an Oxford Road Corridor line would go to St. Peter's Square, then a station at Quay Street (useful for Spinningfields), then across the river to Salford Central, then Chapel Street, Salford Crescent, Pendleton (just outside Salford Shopping City), Chimney Pot Park, then down towards a rebuilt Langworthy station, then Broadway, then connecting up to Media City.

Would be useful for connecting the 3 main unis together: Manc, Man Met & Salford (with campuses at Crescent and Media City) plus the studenty areas in Fallowfield; connects Salford Quays to Salford city centre to Manchester city centre, and it can run all the down to Manchester Airport if necessary.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 02:01 PM   #63
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On the subject of circular routes connecting the provincial towns, IMHO it would be a good idea.

My reasoning is mainly based on passenger usage statistics and a comparison with London ... I have noted that if you compare the station usage of a station (rail or underground) in Greater London with the population of the town it serves, there are about 120 passenger journeys per year per member of the population. In Greater Manchester, the figure is more like 12 for rail, and a maximum of about 30 for Metrolink. Why is this? Anecdotally, from hearing people talk about their commuter patterns (particularly during the TiF campaign), by far the majority of people in Manchester don't work in, or even near the centre. Most commuter journeys go from one town to another, or even from one suburb to another. Therefore it is clear that a network with only radial routes is never going to fully serve Manchester - circular routes should definitely be the next step.

This is just my theory though, so feel free to correct me if I've made an error in the logic, or if you are more informed on the matter.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 02:20 PM   #64
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Its something I agree with Gerbil, on the London figures I think its partially accounted for by London being a massive intechange location between different routes, people are changing trains to access different parts of the country and since the figures are calculated by number of train passengers boarding or alighting rather than number of people entering or leaving the station itself the figures gets distorted.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 02:36 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerbil View Post
On the subject of circular routes connecting the provincial towns, IMHO it would be a good idea.

My reasoning is mainly based on passenger usage statistics and a comparison with London ... I have noted that if you compare the station usage of a station (rail or underground) in Greater London with the population of the town it serves, there are about 120 passenger journeys per year per member of the population. In Greater Manchester, the figure is more like 12 for rail, and a maximum of about 30 for Metrolink. Why is this? Anecdotally, from hearing people talk about their commuter patterns (particularly during the TiF campaign), by far the majority of people in Manchester don't work in, or even near the centre. Most commuter journeys go from one town to another, or even from one suburb to another. Therefore it is clear that a network with only radial routes is never going to fully serve Manchester - circular routes should definitely be the next step.

This is just my theory though, so feel free to correct me if I've made an error in the logic, or if you are more informed on the matter.
I think your first assumption is correct. Manchester is far more decentralised a city than London, with employment far more evenly distributed. However this doesn't mean that orbital rail is a good idea.

Firstly because most of the job growth we are expecting over the next 10 - 15 years will be centrally located. That means that it is radial journeys that will need higher capacity increases than peripheral ones. Secondly many of the jobs in the peripheral towns tend not to be sited in the centre of those towns, but on trading and industrial estates and business parks which are poorly linked to public transport.

Some semi-orbital journey could be achieved relatively easily and might be worthwhile. Altrincham-Timperley-Baguley(for the Airport Line)-Gatley-Cheadle Heath-Adswood-Stockport tram-trains might be well used to connect these growing business locations and suburbs, especially if they were able to access Stockport town centre directly. Ramsbottom-Bury-Heywood-Rochdale-Shaw-Oldham services would also be possible and might improve these areas economies.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 02:49 PM   #66
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METROLINK TO STOCKPORT

Nice post of piccies from JdR showing track-bed clearance towards East Dids. He included a well found scan of a newspaper article on the proposed Stockport extension which set me digging out some old pamphlets!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny de Rivative View Post

(Manchester Evening News 21.7.2000, above)
To me it will be a crying shame if it doesn't go through to Stockport. The day before the above article, MEN's front page 20.7.00had said:-
"Plans to add Stockport to the Metrolink map of Manchester have already won a big thumbs-up from people in the town.
"When a public consultation was staged earlier this year, the move was backed by more people than any other extension to the service.
"Eight out of ten people asked said they would use the line, and 83 per cent of people were in favour of it being built. One third of passengers would switch to the supertram from using a car for the journey.
"Stockport Council Leader Coun Fred Ridley said, getting Metrolink would be 'great news' for the town".

Ten years later, cllr.craig.wright@stockport.gov.uk (Liberal Democrat councillor for Marple North) is still pushing for the extensions to Stockport, followed by the much needed link to Marple via Brinnington, as well as the tram-train proposals via Ashburys to Piccadilly undercroft.
All strength to his elbow! [/I]
So look what I turned up from a 1999 pamphlet which includes many nice aerial photos of where the route might go, I'll try and scan them soon but meantime here's a geographic map from that era, showing the proposed tunnel between East Didsbury & Craig Road! (It's because the route follows an old railway line that was later filled in - GMPTE thinking ws that the locals would not like to lose their new green finger so they would dig out the filling put the tram in a tunnel and cover it over (making the longest section of cut'n'cover on the system!). Not sure this is still in the plans and there must be questions over the routing seen here but good to see it after a decade anyway!

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Old February 1st, 2010, 03:01 PM   #67
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Does anyone know what the purpose of Hough End Station is? It seems ridiculously close the St Werburgh's and doesn't offer interchange with the Didsbury line, so what's it for?
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Old February 1st, 2010, 03:59 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherguevara View Post
Does anyone know what the purpose of Hough End Station is? It seems ridiculously close the St Werburgh's and doesn't offer interchange with the Didsbury line, so what's it for?
there are a few things around there that it could serve. hough end police training school, i think there is a high school there too, then there is whalley range high school and also didsbury point. people would be more likely to walk to hough end met stop than they would st werbugh's road, which is a fair old trek away.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 05:44 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdogg371 View Post
there are a few things around there that it could serve. hough end police training school, i think there is a high school there too, then there is whalley range high school and also didsbury point. people would be more likely to walk to hough end met stop than they would st werbugh's road, which is a fair old trek away.
But wouldn't it be better sited on the corner of Nell Lane perhaps???
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Old February 1st, 2010, 07:25 PM   #70
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But surely Hough End is so close to St. Werburgh's Road it's unjustifiable? There's a danger of having too many unnecessary stations (especially on the Wythenshawe route) which will just make the journey slower for everyone else.

A balance needs to be struck, and I don't think Hough End can make the cut.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 07:29 PM   #71
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Strange question, roughly how far are we talking between stations on the new line? Those National Rail stations look a similar distance and they usually have quite a distance between them.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 10:50 PM   #72
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Couple of points.

Curious that the MEN article on Stockport talks about extending the Met out to the Peel Centre and spurring off on the freight line at the back of Stepping Hill.

Another line for Mark to add to his fantasy line. And maybe part of some future Wikipedia article "Never built tram lines"

Second why hasnt there been any thought to have a direct line from Stockport to the Airport ?
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Old February 1st, 2010, 11:21 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdogg371 View Post
there are a few things around there that it could serve. hough end police training school, i think there is a high school there too, then there is whalley range high school and also didsbury point. people would be more likely to walk to hough end met stop than they would st werbugh's road, which is a fair old trek away.
It's for Nell Lane estate and the houses by the southern hotel. When it's all complete the 84 bus may be no more.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 11:58 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motortownman View Post
It's for Nell Lane estate and the houses by the southern hotel. When it's all complete the 84 bus may be no more.
Ah right, cheers. I got confused, as I thought there was a planned stop on the Didsbury line to serve those houses, but looking at the map there isn't.

I suppose with patronage expected to be lower of the Airport Line that putting in another stop is more important than journey times to town. But it is going to make it very annoying for the few people who do elect to trundle into town from Wythenshawe.

Heaton - I read about the proposed reuse of the old Midland railway for Metrolink in a Stockport Council strategy document (about 8 years old), although I think the council didn't consider it as important as the Didsbury to Stockport and Stockport to Marple extensions. I think I read somewhere else that they had looked into a Stockport-Airport route and that the eastern section (the suggested Stockport-Marple route) was actually better performing than the western one (Stockport to the Airport via Wythenshawe). The Stockport to Bredbury and Hyde busway is being planned to allow Metrolink to use the alignment, so presumably it's still a possibility at some future point.

I like the idea of an unbuilt Metrolink list. With four Stockport lines, one Middleton, two Manchester and three Salford ghost proposals the powers that be seem to be almost as big a bunch of fantasists as we are!
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 12:13 AM   #75
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Tell me more, its awhile since Bredbury meant any thing to me now I have relocated to the wild northside.

A Marple to Stockport route. Where and how?

And that Busway. Didnt know of the Met idea.

Yeah the London Underground has extensive closed and never built but proposed stations and lines, so why not a "Metrolink never built list" for Wiki.

So far its

East Didsbury to Stockport (Big Bang GMPTE)

Pomona to Trafford Centre (Big Bang GMPTE)

Eccles to Bolton via Walkden (Salford MBC)

Wigan to Manchester (Salford MBC)

Eccles to Trafford Centre (Salford MBC)

Victoria to Middleton via Bowker Vale (A Rochdale MBC councillor)

Ashton to Stalybridge (Roy Oldham leader of Tameside MBC)

Stockport station to Hazel Grove (SMBC)

Marple to Stockport (SMBC)

Add further if you wish.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 01:05 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatonparkincakes View Post
Tell me more, its awhile since Bredbury meant any thing to me now I have relocated to the wild northside.

A Marple to Stockport route. Where and how?

And that Busway. Didnt know of the Met idea.

Yeah the London Underground has extensive closed and never built but proposed stations and lines, so why not a "Metrolink never built list" for Wiki.

So far its

East Didsbury to Stockport (Big Bang GMPTE)

Pomona to Trafford Centre (Big Bang GMPTE)

Eccles to Bolton via Walkden (Salford MBC)

Wigan to Manchester (Salford MBC)

Eccles to Trafford Centre (Salford MBC)

Victoria to Middleton via Bowker Vale (A Rochdale MBC councillor)

Ashton to Stalybridge (Roy Oldham leader of Tameside MBC)

Stockport station to Hazel Grove (SMBC)

Marple to Stockport (SMBC)

Add further if you wish.
Here's the Stockport Marple route (taken from the document: Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council Local Development Framework, Core Strategy
Development Plan Document, ISSUES AND OPTIONS PAPER Consultation – 26/09/07 to 09/11/07" which unfortunately doesn't seem to be available anymore (as it has been superceded by a later paper that is vaguer about potential light rail in the borough. The busway is proposed in the GMITA papers as going along the same alignment to Bredbury (where the blue line joins the rail line) and the north towards Hyde.



Then there's the GM Rail Strategy suggestion of tram-trains to Glossop, Rose Hill via Hyde, and the Styal line, as well as eventually to Glazebrook and Rochdale via Castleton. And of course the tram-trains to Chester and Crewe via Northwich (not sure who suggested that) and Altrincham to Stockport.

That's a lot of nonexistant infrastructure.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 01:06 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatonparkincakes View Post
Tell me more, its awhile since Bredbury meant any thing to me now I have relocated to the wild northside.

A Marple to Stockport route. Where and how?

And that Busway. Didnt know of the Met idea.

Yeah the London Underground has extensive closed and never built but proposed stations and lines, so why not a "Metrolink never built list" for Wiki.

So far its

East Didsbury to Stockport (Big Bang GMPTE)

Pomona to Trafford Centre (Big Bang GMPTE)

Eccles to Bolton via Walkden (Salford MBC)

Wigan to Manchester (Salford MBC)

Eccles to Trafford Centre (Salford MBC)

Victoria to Middleton via Bowker Vale (A Rochdale MBC councillor)

Ashton to Stalybridge (Roy Oldham leader of Tameside MBC)

Stockport station to Hazel Grove (SMBC)

Marple to Stockport (SMBC)

Add further if you wish.
How about the 1974 three-line "rapid-transit" proposals (inlcuding some underground!!!)


And not forgetting the ill-fated "Picc-Vic"

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Old February 2nd, 2010, 01:18 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkO View Post
How about the 1974 three-line "rapid-transit" proposals (inlcuding some underground!!!)

Picc-Vic already has it's wikipedia page though.

Was anything ever decided about the other 70s rapid transit lines other than their aproximate route? Were they going to be buses, trams or what? It's interesting that nothing has been proposed for any of those corridors (except the south of the Wythenshawe one) 40 years later.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 10:18 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkO View Post
But wouldn't it be better sited on the corner of Nell Lane perhaps???
It is on the Nell Lane corner Mark. It's the map that isn't correct. The land is sitting there waiting ...fenced off.

Think they made a good decision not putting a stop at the back of Arrowfield Road. It's a crime haven down there which is why the bus doesn't have a terminus there any longer after the epsidode with the gun being pointed at a driver and the knives.
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Old February 2nd, 2010, 10:43 PM   #80
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Johnny’s Big Bang

EAST MANCHESTER LINE PART 8

Edge Lane

Up the Hill and Over the Border, laying the rails for a brand New Order . . .

<> Ashton New Road <> Clayton Conservative Club <> Canberra Street <> Schofield Street <> Crabtree Lane <> Seymour Road South <> Mayne’s Garage <> Tameside Boundary <> Halfway House <> Edge Lane <> Manor Road <> Manchester Road Droylsden <> Cooper Street <>

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...1297&page=4#80

130 images, updated to December 2013

Sparking up Clayton, a steady climb, the gradient’s against her but she’s on time . . . Is that a tram coming in the distance? Here’s looking down into Manchester from the borders of Droylsden over 100 years ago :-



The rails of the original Manchester Corporation Tramway can also be seen in the setts of Ashton New Road here at the junction of Schofield Street in 1920 :-


c) Manchester Libraries Local Image Collection http://images.manchester.gov.uk

And further down the hill by the Railway Inn in 1932 :-



Forty years on, double wires had replaced the rails climbing between Clayton and Edge Lane. At the foot of the hill in 1962 stand (left to right) St Cross Church; Clayton Conservative Club (surely almost a contradiction in terms!?) and the sub Post Office. All three establishments - minus clock and cigarette adverts - still ply their respective trades to this day :-



Still in 1962, the wires climb the hill further between Canberra Street and Schofield Street. Diagrams of early Metrolink proposals showed an additional stop here, to be located off-street on the opposite side of Ashton New Road, where many terraced properties have been cleared. As recently as 2002, the house with a bay window 701 (next to Greenalds at 699), was on sale for as little as £10,000, a legacy of the heavily industrialised, (and consequently less popular from the residential point of view) Eastern sector of the city. It is often said that the ‘East End’ of most cities was traditionally less desirable due to the prevailing Westerly winds blowing the industrial smoke and smog in that direction, but whether that’s apocryphal I don’t know . . .



Property prices in Clayton have never been the most expensive in Manchester, as shown on this leaflet from 5 March 2002. The property mentioned above was soon snapped up, but unfortunately has remained derelict ever since :-



Eight years later, however, just before the recession and with the coming of Metrolink imminent, it was a different story – and this one doesn’t even have a bay window! :-



Clayton and Edge Lane are about a mile apart – quite a long way between stops for a street tramway. The original trams (and the trolleybuses which succeeded them along here between 1938 and 1966) will have made half a dozen stops up and down the steady climb between the two. The buses still do to-day, 50 years on. So a major aspiration for Metrolink in the 1990s was to try and re-create the local penetration achieved by the previous tramways - but over the years it has wrestled with something of a split identity in this regard, being mainly a light railway. But no doubt prompted by that earlier ‘selling point’ someone evidently suggested an intermediate stop at Canberra Street, which briefly appeared (along with quite a few other ‘phantoms’) on early diagrams such as this one in about 1994. Note that Edge Lane itself was at that time adumbrated as ‘Manor Road’: more precisely correct but less well-known as an interchange point :-


Light Rail Review #5, Platform5/lrta.org ISBN 1 972524 56 7

Halfway up the hill on the Southern side, the cupola-ed Carlton Cinema on the corner of Crabtree Lane was in full swing in trolleybus days, but has nowadays been replaced by ALDI. Maynes Bus Garage (just visible on the left) has now become Greggs and Subway :-



Adults only tonight . . .



The opposite corner of Crabtree Lane. At the other end of the lane by the canal, the Strawberry Duck (formerly the Crabtree Inn) still thrives to this day :-



Here was the Crabtree Inn as far back as 1907, when it was possible to drive a horse and cart or vehicle over the canal and all along the lane. Long before electric transport, I guess the canals were the main arteries of the 18th century, but, as at New Islington, their locks & bridges cannot meet modern safety standards, and so Crabtree Lane as a road is now severed into two, with the nearest canal crossings at Clayton Lane or Edge Lane :-



Continuing to climb the hill of Ashton New Road, on the other side the trolleybus wires pass Seymour Road South with its large non-conformist church in the 1960s. The corner shop until recently was a doctor’s surgery, and is now an internet solution :-



Just facing was Mayne’s bus garage, here in its heyday in 1960. A very popular and well-loved local firm, which ran a number of stage carriage services as well as excursions, it survived until 2009, when it was gobbled up by Stagecoach :-



A little further up, small businesses abound at this Eastern extremity of the City of Manchester. The back of the boundary sign marking the ‘City Limits’ can just be seen on the left, overshadowed by the bulk of the Halfway House pub - a fine Victorian hosterly marking the mid-point between Manchester and Ashton-under-Lyne. The boundary itself disects certain properties in this area, including Boots Chemist here, as can be gleaned from the disparate styles of the road nameplates for Manchester Road Droylsden and Ashton New Road Manchester respectively. Most of these buildings are still extant, nowadays virtually all plying trades as off-licences or take-aways in the ‘night-time economy’ :-



Across the road by Dargai Street in 1963 is the counterpart boundary sign announcing entry into Droylsden, which was to be replaced in 1974 by six massive silver flags proclaiming the new Metropolitan Borough of Tameside :-


c) Manchester Libraries Local Image Collection http://images.manchester.gov.uk (all the above)

Having crossed the border at the top of the hill we’re now into Droylsden proper, and fifty years back in time, the 1960s were all mods & trolleybuses at Edge Lane – and the neat little black & white building in the centre was a Corporation Transport traffic and parcels office, overseeing an important turnback revolve for Trolleybuses on short workings back to Manchester. The office, together with toilets and a news stand, dated back to the original tramways, which had given way to the trolleybuses on 31.3.1938. The bulk of the Co-operative Hall in the centre of Droylsden can just be made out in the distance, at the top of the hill on the right :-


Ken Healey, Buses Trams and Trolleybuses around Mcr, Willow ISBN 0 946361 30 4

Transport wise, Edge Lane has always been a busy crossroads interchange, as here facing Manchester in the 1960s :-





Facing Droylsden in 1964, the trolleybus on the reversing loop fronts up the row of houses which, together with the neat little office, will one day have to be demolished to make way for the tramstop :-



In this next picture from the same era the bus on the left belonged to A Mayne, its contemporaneous livery of maroon with an aqua stripe clashing somewhat with the red of the Manchester Corporation trolleybus on the right. When the latter was orange-ified by SELNEC at the end of that decade, Mayne’s appropriated the ‘Mancunian’ look by adopting a reminiscent red and cream identity. Quadrophenia! - Following the bus on the left is surely an original 1960's ‘mod’ on a Honda or Lambretta, and I think a grey Mini Cooper van? And on the far right is a roadside petrol pump, the base of which remains to this day :-


Howard Piltz, The Heyday of the Trolleybus, Ian Allan ISBN 0 7110 2271 2

Metropolitanisation in 1974 had brought about the amalgamation of a group of small to medium sized hamlets roughly surrounding the River Tame. With Ashton-under-Lyne as an administrative centre ‘Tameside’ was born as a large Metropolitan District, but decided to preserve the individual identities of its constituent parts by allocating each area its own discrete colour for signage and street furniture etc. Moreover, perhaps conscious of its somewhat ‘cobbled together’ and portmanteau origins, Tameside seems to have trumpeted its new presence in a more declamatory way than the other new boroughs, by placing six gigantic silver flags, each depicting local historical associations, at the borders with its neighbours. Ergo, here is the Western boundary in October 2008, with the flags in Droylsden’s ident colour of wine-red. The old Trustee Savings Bank at 302 Edge Lane, centre, is boarded up ready for demolition, as it stands in the way of the forthcoming tram alignment. Pam’s Café next door has sadly bitten the dust of the recession even before construction came along, but was to rise again with the coming of Metrolink as The Corner Café, so it would soon be an order for a full English followed by regular Banana splits! :-



Although it had been the enthusiastic intention of the Town Clerk Ian Cochrane to reinstate these flags, very regrettably Metrolink decided that due to their metallic content close to the overhead they had to go. So unless another location can be found, these depictions are now historic and exist in storage and memory only :-





The flags remain at other boundaries, however, e.g. here in Black for Fairfield/Audenshaw at Ashton Old Road :-



In blue for Denton at the Southernmost of the three borders with Manchester :-



Blue also for Ashton at the border with Oldham :-



And Green for Hyde on entering from Stockport :-



A major consultation in the mid 1990s led to several revisions of plans for the East Manchester Line. By 1996 the alignment at Canberra Street/Schofield Street had become on-street instead of reservation, but Edge Lane was still known as Manor Road on the contemporary publicity :-








Quite a lot of demolition was required to make room for the future tramstop now known as Edge Lane, and if Alistair Darling had had his deleterious way in 2004, £200 million of local money would have been thrown away on Advance Works. GMPTE’s 2003 visuals show that a double row of houses in the centre of this shot, a phone box, the little transport office and the old TSB Bank bottom left, would all have to go :-



This was the layout on the ground in the early 2000’s, with property looking too good to be demolished :-


thanks Loweskid

From the same point looking back West in about 2003 towards the blighted TSB Bank :-



The unfortunate but necessary ‘omelette & eggs’ demolition of these solid and substantial dwellings now started in earnest :-





Looking West from Cooper Street towards the Halfway House in about 2003, with demolition well under way :-



The Past and the Future: tramway schemes in other cities – Portsmouth, Leeds, Bristol, Liverpool, as well as possible extensions to existing systems elsewhere – all got the chop in 2004, at goodness knows what amount of wasted money. Liverpool, for example, still has miles of paid for but unused rail in store, but ten years later their Mayor & Council finally voted to throw in the towel on the schemes to Kirkby and elsewhere. The Mancunian spirit, however, was not to be cowed in such a prostrate manner, and the ‘Get Back on Track’ demos of 2004 astounded Mr Darling so peremptorily that he immediately offered the same money back. But by the time it was finally signed off a couple of years later, it would only buy the reduced Phase 3a to St Werburgh’s Road, Droylsden and Rochdale via the Oldham Loop railway. A good start, nevertheless, and one which eventually stimulated the reinstatement of the whole shebang during the next decade. Manchester forges ahead where others fall out with themselves and cower back in retreat! One of the main public demonstrations of that long hot Summer was the one through Tameside, which started here at Edge Lane in August 2004, then made its way along the alignment, stopping at Droylsden and Ashton (q.v.). Meanwhile, the forlorn little transport office awaits its fate :-



This was the same viewpoint from Cooper Street after the buildings were gone – with the demolition complete, the Halfway House now dominates quite an extensive area. And so, while all the tendering and planning work was done over again at yet more expense and time, this rather charming ‘Village Green’ effect lasted for about another five years :-









That third ‘volte-face’ by New Labour caused at least four more years of delay, so time for a cup of tea and a bacon butty. There are a number of excellent greasy spoons around Edge Lane crossroads – the Clayton Café, the Celery Stick, and dozens of restaurants and take-aways of all nationalities. Prominent at the top of the hill and next to the bank on the corner was Pam’s Café, seen here in January 2008 – from within you get a good view of all the circulating traffic, here including one of Arthur Mayne’s buses in the later livery, which were in their last days of plying the area at that time :-



Sadly, in the same month Mayne’s bus garage itself, a bit lower down the hill just into Clayton, was ready for demolition - another martyr to privatisation :-



The tram station was originally to have been on the North side of the two-way main road, as shown in the visual from 2003. The trees replacing the bank never appeared, however, although others were to be planted along Manor Road, in front of the shops on the left :-



However, by 2009 there had been a change of thinking, no doubt with the benefit of hindsight in relation to the benefits of minimising rail curvatures and the experience of intermixing modern traffic flows with 21st century light rail systems. I suspect that one example of this may have been the 2004 controversy which emerged at Hyson Green in Nottingham, in relation to the noise from tight rail curves immediately in front of dwelling houses. In any event, both here and at Droylsden itself, the platforms were moved from planned reservations on the North sides, to islands in the centre of newly-created dual carriageways. These new arrangements bring the benefits of easier rail curve radii, giving less wear and tear as well as reducing potential tyre noise; and removing 2x conflicting road/rail traffic crossover movements, replacing them with simple merge and non-conflicting diverge arrangements :-



So after a series of political ‘voltes-faces’, the much reduced ‘Little Bang’ Phase 3a had been re-instated in 2007, but only with the same money allocated in 2002 (£520M). But the change of plan also superseded the original surveys, and the whole 2-year tendering process had to be done over again, with the result that here in March 2009 all was still quiet on the ground. But one nevertheless had the feeling that something was afoot . . .



Then at last in September 2009, the first breach of the ‘Village Green’ occurred - something’s coming at last! :-





The Trustee Savings Bank building on the corner of Edge Lane lasted a lot longer than the other buildings. Here it is in June 2008 – the workman is sealing off utilities next door prior to demolition :-



By September 2009 the bank was also on its way :-



And in this dawn picture from November 2009 it had gone, revealing a wider perspective of the Pennine hills to approaching front-seat passengers, who would be able to take advantage of the forward vision offered by trams :-



So the café next door then gained a gable end, and by August 2010, like the sepulchre of old, it had been whited (and perhaps surprisingly, still not written on to this day . . .) :-



And then, in December 2009, actual construction began at last. Leaving Clayton Hall and heading up the hill, this was the beginning of the first street tramway proper to be constructed since the opening of Eccles New Road in 2000 :-



In January 2010 the first bit of rail is paved and completed :-



Back at Edge Lane, in March 2010 construction was also set to commence in earnest :-



April 2010 by the Conservative club on the left, now there are two :-





May 2010 re-bar & rail breaching the boundary :-





Perhaps more than any other line, the 3-year pain of construction was acutely felt in East Manchester, being very much ‘in the face’ of many local businesses, residents, commuters etc, and during this period there were several riotous public meetings and vituperative letters in the local press . . .



Once it was all over, however, the consensus in general seems to have been that it was well worth it, end o’t day :-



July 2010, and the red boundary flags start to meet their fate . . . boo-hoo! :-





What a shame. But as one door closes, another opens, and the whited café is back in business under a new moniker :-



By August 2010 nothing was left of the ‘green space’ at Edge Lane. The road layout has been dualled and re-arranged, and workmen (& women?) have taken up residence in their little house on the prairie :-



September 2010 the Clayton rails strike out for the summit :-



And the Tameside track was comin’ on over the hill :-



November 2010 here’s the whole Manchester section of the street alignment, heading up and away out of the City :-



March 2011 – the snaking metals are halfway to Ashton :-



April 2011 and away go some of the last vestiges of the old days :-



And after that the alignment has a clear run Eastward Ho to the hills, with Droylsden on the horizon! :-



In May 2011 the first platforms arrive :-



June-July 2011 overhead is coming . . . red poles for Droylsden . . . and silver for Clayton :-





A busy scene in August 2011 as new poles and old lamp-posts proliferate :-



And the same scene at a quieter moment :-



Span wires arrived in September 2011 :-



A Hopper-esque night scene in October 2011, with the platform and ramp now in place :-



[i]Then something yellow this way comes /i] in December 2011. The publicity flag in the foreground was one of a series placed along the line by Tameside Council in the hope of assuaging the ire of locals upset by the prolonged disruption. To what extent they succeeded at the time remains an open question. In the meantime, the new Droylsden Academy has appeared in the background :-



The Autumn leaves drift by my window . . . Metrolink said it wouldplant five trees for every one removed :-





Looking a bit more smart & tidy for Xmas 2011 :-



Then a bit of history briefly re-emerged! Like the post-war trolleybuses, the original tramways had short workings at this point prior to 1938, but instead of revolving in the middle of the main road, they had used a headshunt on the North side along Manor Road. During the construction of Metrolink in 2011 some of the original pointwork was uncovered for just a few hours before being scrapped or buried again :-



”To me! - To you! - To you! - To me!” . . . January 2012 :-



We only have to go back 45 years to find overhead wires in this area, as the trolleybuses ended on 30.12.1966. However, in February 2012 they are about to appear again – the bracket arms arrived this month, showing us the tin man’s hats on red poles for the first time :-



If anyone’s in any doubt what a ley-line looks like, this is it – (no idea what they are, though . . .)



The first running wires arrived overnight on 8th March 2012, their ephemeral cuprous glint lasting but a few short weeks :-



Later in March 2012 the running wires became double :-







And the dot matrices came to life for the first time :-



Does Metrolink bring regeneration? Well, the gutted wreck of a shop next door to the Halfway House, derelict for many years, is at long last being done up :-



March 2012 the street tramway between Clayton and Edge Lane is complete again! :-



May 2012, the final infrastructure product, looking back down to Clayton. Now there’s only one thing missing . . .



But there were many delays during this period in relation to the commissioning of the new Tram Management System. I think one of them related to pedestrian crossings such as this one, which will need an additional dot matrix signal head :-



The original projected opening date for the Droylsden section had always been ‘Spring 2012’, but the TMS problems were to delay things by about 12 months. Then, one balmy night on June 12/13 2012, it suddenly felt like everything was happening at once. In a mood of great anticipation, Loweskid and I sat in the Halfway House during Last Orders and beyond, as it had been announced that the first ever Metrolink tram was to make its way gingerly through the East Manchester Line to Droylsden during the night. We were in touch with others along the line, who gave us progress reports on the way, At 00:49, Ashley B was the first to observe that the portal was open at the back of Piccadilly, and having eventually been thrown out of the pub, Loweskid and I had a word with the MPT staff, whose colleagues at the Etihad expected an arrival here at about 01:45. But as ever, there was a delay, and the kekkle was kept busy for the next few hours! Further pressure of time came from the unbelievable coincidence that the first public service tram was due to leave Old Trafford for Oldham Mumps Temporary at about 5 am on the very same overnight! So the race was on to get some Edge Lane pics uploaded, before LNGCats arrived to whiz us over to Trafford Bar as daylight was dawning! We just made it, and eventually collapsed with several other forummers into the Ashton Arms, Clegg Street Oldham at 13:30 the following day!

For a blow-by-blow account of all the action as it progressed during that long, long night and the following days, follow this link and the ensuing dialogue on SkyscraperCity :-

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...6944&page=1009

The first one ever! In fact, the actual arrival of the first tram, a double consist of M5000 3031+3032 finally occurred at 02:51 on June 13, 2012. Appropriately enough, our first sight of it was by the Subway café, where in days of old used to stand Arthur Mayne’s local bus garage :-



Over the border she comes :-



Welcome to Tameside, Metrolink!! :-



Arriving at Edge Lane very slowly, testing platform clearances :-



The doors opened for the first time on to this platform at precisely 03:00 on 13.06.2012 :-



Then after a short pause, off she goes into the night and Cemetery Road! . . .



Further testing continued through the night and into the dawn. A copy of this next picture hung on the wall of the Halfway House for another nine months until the line opened for passenger service. It was surprising the number of people who asked for copies, who had previously berated the coming of the tramway . . .



Then time was running out for the intrepid pioneer spotters, our lift arrived for Trafford Bar and off we sped into the early aubade :-



After the initial tests there was a further four months’ wait with nothing happening around here. August 2012 :-



Then the next batch of testing arrived on 9 October 2012 – this time they arrived before midnight when the evening economy was still vibrant :-







A phantom destination seen that night but never again, before nor since! (But it gave us the first hint of future service patterns . . . ) :-



Our first glimpse of banana in full daylight came on 1 November 2012, when testing began in earnest :-



Note that the long derelict shops next to the pub have now been modernised :-





The right turn from Ashton New Road into Edge Lane had been a popular manoeuvre, as it eliminates a 2-mile diversion due to the shortage of canal crossings in this area. Now it is barred but still very tempting for that reason . . .



By the end of November 2012, bananas had become a common sight on the borders of East Manchester :-





Since childhood I’ve always been mesmerised by those predestinate grooves, and nowhere better to see the effect than in a traditional residential roadway :-





Work on the infrastructure continued in December 2012. Seems fairly mundane now, but at the time every little step was an exciting one! The hoped-for Xmas opening didn’t materialise, however :-



Driver Training was still the order of the day in January 2013, and the café has had a New Year makeover :-









11 February 2013 The big day dawned at last! Residents had been given a free trial on the preceding weekend :-



‘Bury via Victoria’ was the default destination in those days. Shortly after this the display layout was amended to fit on one line :-



The snows continued into March 2013, and the service pattern was ‘Bury via Woodlands Road’ between 09:30 and 15:42 on weekdays :-



Unlike every other new station on Phase 3, Metrolink’s excellently designed branding and signage has always been noticeably absent at Edge Lane, except for one single ident board :-



It’s the only one that has a clock, however :-



Patronage on the Phase 3a section to Droylsden only was slow to start, as had been anticipated by GMPTE on the first mention of the truncated Phase 3a. However, the numbers soon rocketed after the service was extended to Ashton on 9 October 2013 :-



And so it came to pass that the predestinate grooves could now roll on from Edge Lane to eternity . . .



The view from the Corner Café is still expansive, but now with new shops and Metrolink where Mayne’s buses once plied :-



And on their annual parade, the Mods continue to cross the border in style . . .



Johnny’s Big Bang

East Manchester Line Part 9, Cemetery Road: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...297&page=6#117

Last edited by Johnny de Rivative; February 4th, 2015 at 06:58 PM.
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