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Metrolink to Manchester Airport Now Boarding...

Today saw the opening of the much anticipated new line to the airport, photographs will follow for forummers...but in the meantime this link will give you a taste of what its all about...
Here is Part one of my photo journal of today.

Part 1 early events.

Arriving at Sale Water Park at around 04:50 this morning to be greeted by this.

DSC_5121 by sghyde, on Flickr

Then this as 3080/3070 descend from the Mersey Viaduct

DSC_5123 by sghyde, on Flickr

and roll into the stop.

DSC_5127 by sghyde, on Flickr

A slightly late arrival at Manchester Airport which lead to a late departure.

DSC_5128 by sghyde, on Flickr

Lots of people with little goody bags.

P1080757 by sghyde, on Flickr

Ready to depart.

DSC_5130 by sghyde, on Flickr

Some of the regular first tram crew on the return trip.

P1080758 by sghyde, on Flickr

DSC_5134 by sghyde, on Flickr

I left the first inbound set at Barlow Moor Road to try for a few early shots on the street running section on Hardy Lane, with mixed results!

DSC_5136 by sghyde, on Flickr

3063 approaches along the central reservation with an Airport bound trip.

DSC_5143 by sghyde, on Flickr

On departure it passes 3085 on the second inbound trip. Passengers already waiting at 06:37.

DSC_5147 by sghyde, on Flickr

DSC_5150 by sghyde, on Flickr

DSC_5152 by sghyde, on Flickr

On Hardy Lane 3067 approaches the camera with the 3rd Cornbrook trip.

DSC_5155 by sghyde, on Flickr

DSC_5158 by sghyde, on Flickr

3079 arrives at Barlow Moor Road heading to the Airport.

DSC_5161 by sghyde, on Flickr

Where we see it slightly later ready to depart.

DSC_5166 by sghyde, on Flickr

I'm not quite sure what the second tram on the PIDS was supposed to be

DSC_5167 by sghyde, on Flickr

but 3079 departed normally

DSC_5169 by sghyde, on Flickr

and 3080 reappeared having been split from 3070. But nothing seemed special about its trip to warrant the odd display info

DSC_5173 by sghyde, on Flickr

although it did beat a fairly hasty retreat

DSC_5175 by sghyde, on Flickr

3067 arrives a few minutes later.

DSC_5179 by sghyde, on Flickr

From here I set out to take shots along the line, these will appear shortly in Part 2......

10,490 Posts
OK Part 2 of my odyssey.

Starting at Shadowmoss

3067 heads off alongside Shadowmoss Road.

DSC_5184 by sghyde, on Flickr

3062 arrives to take me to Peel Hall

DSC_5203 by sghyde, on Flickr

where we see 3078 heading for the Airport.

DSC_5215 by sghyde, on Flickr

The early morning sun made life a bit difficult here.

DSC_5218 by sghyde, on Flickr

At Robinswood Road 3086 leaves for Cornbrook

DSC_5222 by sghyde, on Flickr

and across the junction 3063 appears heading for the Airport.

DSC_5229 by sghyde, on Flickr

To me even allowing for the Interchange construction site Wythenshawe Town centre stop has an unfinished air about it. Here we see 3078 ready to depart, the driver kindly waited for me to get this shot.

DSC_5240 by sghyde, on Flickr

Some happy Customer Service guys on the outbound platform here.

DSC_5249 by sghyde, on Flickr

Having noticed that there was a 24 minute gap after this tram I decided to head for Crossacres then walk up to Benchill.

DSC_5254 by sghyde, on Flickr

Crossacres where we see 3063 heading off towards Benchill as 3079 approaches the camera.

DSC_5261 by sghyde, on Flickr

DSC_5265 by sghyde, on Flickr


3067 rounds the curve from Hollyhedge Road.

DSC_5293 by sghyde, on Flickr

After the long gap 3079 arrives to take me on towards my next port of call

DSC_5304 by sghyde, on Flickr

which was to be Moor Road as I needed to be back at Cornbrook to meet a friend at 10 o'clock.

DSC_5316 by sghyde, on Flickr

now the other half of the earlier double appeared running Out of Service.

DSC_5326 by sghyde, on Flickr

followed by my transport, 3085.

DSC_5333 by sghyde, on Flickr

After completing my rendezvous i headed back out to Wythenshawe Park and Northern Moor for a final few shots.

3063 arrives at Wythenshawe Park where once again an inbound gap gave me chance to obtain a few shots

DSC_5335 by sghyde, on Flickr

3085 Airport bound crosses Wythenshawe Road

DSC_5337 by sghyde, on Flickr

3067 at Bordley Walk

DSC_5351 by sghyde, on Flickr

followed by 3062

DSC_5358 by sghyde, on Flickr

Giving up on waiting for the next tram which was still at least 16 minutes away I walked up to Northern Moor where I arrived just in time to see 3080 climbing up to the M60 bridge

DSC_5377 by sghyde, on Flickr

and the PIDS indicated these headways.

DSC_5373 by sghyde, on Flickr

eventually 3079 arrived to get me back to my car at Sale Water Park.

DSC_5377 by sghyde, on Flickr

Back at Sale Water Park some six and a half hours after starting out!

DSC_5378 by sghyde, on Flickr

Comparing the car park here with the one at East Didsbury at a similar time on the day that line opened I think there were more cars here. Early days though I guess.

P1080787 by sghyde, on Flickr

Thats it for now. :lol:

Tram Enthusiast
806 Posts
3080 3070 pair of Bananas to the Airport
DSCF2799 by d33206hg, on Flickr
DSCF2797 by d33206hg, on Flickr
DSCF2802 by d33206hg, on Flickr
DSCF2820 by d33206hg, on Flickr
DSCF2850 by d33206hg, on Flickr
DSCF2863 by d33206hg, on Flickr
DSCF2886 by d33206hg, on Flickr
DSCF2892 by d33206hg, on Flickr
Tonights shots
DSCF2924 by d33206hg, on Flickr
Peel Hall
DSCF2921 by d33206hg, on Flickr
DSCF2912 by d33206hg, on Flickr
Wythenshawe Town Centre
DSCF2906 by d33206hg, on Flickr
Manchester Airport
DSCF2904 by d33206hg, on Flickr

7,192 Posts
Freel, fantastic photographs !! and great to see Metrolink staff embracing the spirit of the occasion !! thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to take and post these photgraphs...


7,192 Posts
Funding for Trafford Park Line now secured

Monday was as many forummers know an historic day for Metrolink with the opening of the Airport Line, however Politically, history was also being made in the City centre as devolution of powers were being signed off from London to Greater Manchester ( a separate thread exists for this should any one be interested...

Part of the deal was funding for the Metrolink line to the Trafford Park and the Trafford Centre, the deal is worth £450 Million approx. Construction is due to start in 2016 and the line opening in 2019/20.

In the meantime we will refocus our attention to the the construction of the Second City Crossing Line ( 2CC) and the redevelopment of Victoria Station, so plenty of good stuff to keep us going...:banana::banana::banana:

10,490 Posts
Has there been any talk of the Stockport line.....?
There has been talk of a line to Stockport yes. It would be an extension of the East Didsbury Line and run under Didsbury Road through a rebuilt bridge seen in the left background of this photo.where the railway used to run down to Heaton Mersey and Cheadle Heath.

DSC_1817 by sghyde, on Flickr

Most of the old railway alignment has unfortunately been lost through development or the M60 motorway and a new crossing of the Mersey would be needed. I don't have any diagrams of the proposed route unfortunately. But I seem to recall that Johnny de Rivative put a photo set together on one of the Metrolink threads a few years ago.

IT City Planner
4,250 Posts
I get what you're saying about Stockport Freel. Is it actually going to happen?
Whilst it is still talked about as an aspiration, its been 10 years since anything happened in relation to progressing the E.Didsbury to Stockport line

Here's the GMPTE (!) map from 1999 showing the route to the bus station

And here's another variant for which I cannot remember the source which shows the aspiration to extend it eastwards via Bredbury and Romiley to Marple

And indeed in recent and not so recent planning applications space is left for this aspiration - the aborted Sainsbury's Knightsbridge development included an Easement and there is nothing built right up against the M60 elevated section in Portwood for the same reason I suspect

But what is on the cards now is the Tram-Train conversion of the Marple Line from Piccadilly (via Bredbury) - this is awaiting the Sheffield/Rotherham Trial - but evidence of space being retained for it is also on the ground at the new Signalling Centre in Gorton
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7,192 Posts
As the Airport Line is operational, we will turn our attention to other Metrolink developments, and following on from that come this news...

Start on site for Exchange Square Metrolink

6 Nov 2014, 16:01

Construction work has begun on the first section of the Metrolink Second City Crossing through Manchester city centre.

The foundations will be laid first between Victoria station and Exchange Square, where there will be a new stop opposite Manchester Arndale.

Artist's impressions of the Exchange Square stop, built as an island platform to maximise public space in the area, have been published ahead of the final design being agreed with city officials.

Transport for Greater Manchester has started work on this section of the route faster than expected after securing a £10.8m European Regional Development Fund grant earlier this year.

Trams could be running between Victoria and Exchange Square as early as winter 2015/16, which will give Metrolink the ability to run more trams between Shaw And Crompton and the city, ahead of the whole Second City Crossing being completed in 2017.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the TfGM committee, said: "To see the start of construction getting under way so soon into the life of this project is hugely encouraging.

"I am really pleased we're going to be able to bring the section between Victoria and Exchange Square into service so soon, because it is going to be of huge benefit for businesses in a very popular and busy part of the city centre."

The full route Second City Crossing route will begin in Lower Mosley Street and run through St Peter's Square, turn down Princess Street and head along Cross Street and Corporation Street to the new Exchange Square stop.

It will then run past the National Football Museum and Printworks to arrive at the Metrolink Victoria stop.

For information and regular updates on the 2CC programme, visit

4,862 Posts
I been on new Airport line today and here are some picture from Cornbrook to Sale Water Park.

3068 tram waiting to turnaround at Cornbrook to start service to Airport.

^^ I notice a lot of people catch this tram and look like having ride all way to Airport which was good.

2006 tram will be next tram to head off to Scrap yard in Rotherham.

Trams at Trafford depot.

Line heading off to Didsbury.

3068 tram heading off to Airport.

And at same time 3063 tram was arrivalling to Sale Water Park.

Sale Water Park station.

It be nice if Freehold had one of these.

Only in Sale you can get this.

Sale Water Park poster.

I wonder if passengers who live in this area with travel on tram to Airport given is only £2.20 single or £2.90 return ticket.

Line heading off to Manchester.

3079 tram arrivalling to Sale Water Park.


4,862 Posts
Here are picture that I took at Manchester Airport.

Firstly poster at Roundthorn and Wythenshawe town centre stop.

3079 tram at Manchester Airport.

Platform that probably wouldn't get use at Airport until Wythenshawe loop get build.

Signs at Airport showing trams on it.

Poster about Airport line.

3082 tram setting off just as get back onto Airport stop.

On Monday 3063 tram was tram that took me back to Cornbrook and it was same tram again today.

Back at St Werburgh's Road where 3063 head off to Cornbrook and about 20 sec later 3010 arrival to take me to Freehold.


4,862 Posts
Here are some picture of work going on at Manchester Victoria and Deansgate-Castlefield stop.

Work underneath Cheetham Hill road bridge.

Platform seen to came to halt but they may be doing more work then it seen.

It wouldn't surprise me if we start seeing tracks landing down here soon.

Still seen to do more work before tracks start landing down here.

Now at Deansgate stop where you may see new overhead poles for new single line at Deansgate-Castlefield stop.


3,065 Posts
At the moment the Second City Crossing is being constructed in the centre of Manchester. Soon public consultation into the Trafford Centre/Salford Reds line will begin.

For those of you who don't know, Trafford Centre is a giant shopping mall on the West side of Manchester. It is next to the M60 (ring road around Manchester). It was open for public in 1998. However, as far as public transport is concerned, it was and still is served only by buses.

There is a shuttle-bus connection between Stretford Metrolink stop and the Trafford Centre. From any tram stop, one can purchase a through ticket to the Trafford Centre from the machines.

The Trafford Line of Metrolink will be a much-needed line for shoppers, workers and tourists alike.

I personally really hope it will get the funding, go-ahead and will be constructed as soon as possible.

I would also like the nearest heavy rail stations to be linked to the Trafford Centre by means of a monorail. So that there will be different options available for the public transport travellers.
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