Planned Metrolink services announced as Second City Crossing set to open early 2017
4 November 2016 • Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport
Under new proposals, more Metrolink trains will soon run into the heart of Manchester city centre as Second City Crossing prepares to open in early 2017.
The plans put forward by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) would see the long-anticipated extension of Manchester Airport services beyond Cornbrook to Deansgate-Castlefield initially and, then, Victoria.
They would also see Rochdale and Oldham services to and from East Didsbury running along the new Second City Crossing (2CC), serving Victoria, Exchange Square and St Peter’s Square.
Service changes to be considered by members of the TfGM Committee
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.
According to TfGM, the 2CC route will principally provide greater operational flexibility and improve the reliability of Metrolink services.
The £165 million crossing is on course to enter service early next year, and the accompanying service changes put forward will be considered by members of the TfGM Committee on Friday 11 November.
“The launch of the Second City Crossing early next year will mark the completion of one of the biggest transport projects in the country”
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Metrolink is now the largest light rail network in the UK and the launch of the Second City Crossing early next year will mark the completion of one of the biggest transport projects in the country.
“It will provide the flexibility and resilience a network of such size demands – but it will also open up some new opportunities.
“In putting this service schedule forward, TfGM has made sure we continue to run high frequency services to major city centre employment areas, and continue to target passenger demand along each route.
“Quick and easy connections are also maintained: passengers will be able to travel anywhere on the 93-stop network with just one change of tram.”
On completion, a thorough testing programme will commence before the first passenger services launch in early 2017.