Track laying for the Metrolink’s Trafford Park Line has started at the Trafford Centre, the final stop on the £350m light rail extension.
The Trafford Park Line is due to open in 2020 and will add a further 5.5km and six stops to Metrolink, already the UK’s largest light rail network. The line is being funded by Greater Manchester’s devolution deal, which was signed by the city-region’s leaders in 2014. Trafford Council is providing £20m towards the project.
Cllr Mark Aldred, chairman of the TfGM Committee said: “Trafford Park and intu Trafford Centre are two of the economic hearts of our city-region. When it is open the new line will provide a vital link to them and the jobs, cultural attractions and shopping along the route. This means people will have a real alternative to driving, meaning fewer cars on the road, less congestion and less pollution.”
Track is also now being laid at EventCity, Parkway, Village Way and Warren Bruce Road. With work undertaken between TfGM and the utility companies, over 190km of infrastructure – including electricity, gas, water and telecommunications pipes and cabling – has been rerouted. The recent completion of this utility diversion work means work can continue on schedule to construct the tram infrastructure along the full route.
Cllr Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, said: “This scheme is hugely important for Trafford Park and the areas around intu Trafford Centre, both of which are essential to our local economy; not only do they provide thousands of jobs, they also attract a significant number of visitors while also delivering continued growth, regeneration and investment. So it’s great to see this project progressing to the next stage; once it’s completed, the Trafford Park line will be a key tram service for the people of Trafford and beyond.”
Further progress will be made in the coming months with early work taking place at Pomona stop to start to connect the Trafford Park Line to the existing Metrolink network. This will involve the temporary closure of the Eccles Line between Cornbrook and Eccles, including the MediaCityUK spur, from Saturday 28 July to Thursday 9 August 2018. In September, beams will be installed to form a new bridge to carry the Metrolink line over the Bridgewater Canal adjacent to Park Way.