Final tracks laid for Metrolink Second City Crossing
13 September 2016 • Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport
Metrolink Second City Crossing is on course for completion before the end of the year with the final tracks now laid into position.
The final rails of the £165 million Second City Crossing have now been laid ahead of its opening early next year. All major civil engineering works – including installing overhead lines to power the trams along the route – are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
TfGM had expected completion to be in summer 2017. However, contractor M-Pact Thales (MPT) worked closely with utility companies and TfGM to ensure the line is on track to be finished earlier in the year, through collaborative management and mitigation of the construction work.
Metrolink Second City Crossing construction due for completion before Christmas 2016
Following a grant from the European Regional Development Fund, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) opened the first phase of the route, from Victoria Station through to a new stop at Exchange Square in December 2015.
Once complete, the Second City Crossing will allow more frequent, reliable and flexible services to run on the tram network, which currently records over 35 million journeys a year.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “It’s great to see these final sections of rail laid, one of the final jigsaw pieces in the puzzle.
“With some infrastructure still dating back to the Victorians, building through a busy city has not been an easy task. The scale of the venture has been impressive and, while there has been inevitable disruption, we’re close to the finish line and to customers, residents and businesses reaping the benefits.
“Since the Second City Crossing programme began we’ve seen a huge increase in Metrolink use across the network, from 27 to 35 million passenger journeys a year. The need for a new line through the city has never been more pressing.
“To make room for more customers we’ve also opened a new tram stop in Exchange Square and competed major rebuilds of a further four city centre tram stops.
“This major overhaul will mean we can continue supporting the demand to travel from workers, residents and visitors to our ever-growing city – connecting people with jobs, days out, family and friends.”
On completion, a thorough testing programme will commence before the first passenger services launch in early 2017.