The first Metrolink tram service from Ashton-under-Lyne will depart at 5.59am on Wednesday 9 October, several months ahead of schedule, subject to final testing, according to Transport for Greater Manchester.
As part of the final testing phase prior to the launch, trams will start to run on a regular basis from Monday 30 September – but not with passengers on board. Once complete, this will be followed by the public launch on Wednesday 9 October.
The launch to Ashton will add four new stops to the East Manchester line: Audenshaw, Ashton Moss, Ashton West and Ashton-under-Lyne.
Park and ride facilities at Ashton Moss, with 200 spaces, and Ashton West, 194 spaces, shared with users of the Ashton Moss Leisure Park, will also open and will be free to use for Metrolink passengers.
Tram journeys from Ashton to Piccadilly will take a little over 30 minutes.
An anytime peak return ticket will cost £5.40, with the off-peak, from 9.30am onwards, ticket costing £3.80.
Services starting at Ashton will run through Manchester city centre calling at Manchester Piccadilly, Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street, Shudehill and Manchester Victoria before serving all stops on the Bury line.
This latest 2.1-mile extension brings the total size of the current Metrolink network to 47.7 miles, serving 73 stops.