Manchester Metrolink by Phil Marsh

Manchester City Centre blockade could affect rail passengers until September

Published: 27th June 2015

Manchester Metrolink becomes the UK’s largest light rail operator with its 100th tram delivered

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has sent out a reminder to passengers that the city centre service running via St Peter’s Square will not be able to run for eight weeks from Sunday 28 June until the end of August. Why does this affect rail passengers? Because the tram provides a cheap and convenient fast link between Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly stations used by millions of passengers a year.

TfGM has been making alterations to minimise disruption and passengers using the Altrincham, Manchester Airport, East Didsbury, Eccles and MediaCityUK lines, the upgraded Deansgate-Castlefield stop becomes the closest city centre stop. There will be shuttle bus services and special walking routes to help passengers cross the city during the work.

Manchester Metrolink services will run on average every 12 minutes with some services running with a pair of trams to ease congestion. The free city centre Metroshuttle bus services will offer frequent services to get around the city linking to Deansgate-Castlefield, Shudehill, Piccadilly and Victoria tram stops but you must have a Mertolink ticket for these.

They said:

Peter Cushing, Metrolink Director at TfGM, said: “We’re carrying out this work during the summer when the trams are traditionally quieter, and we’ve planned Metrolink and shuttle bus services that we hope will limit the impact on customers as far as possible while keeping reliable, frequent links.

“I’d encourage anyone travelling by tram over the next few months to plan their journey in advance and I thank all our customers for their patience as we work to improve their stops and services.

“The work taking place over the next few months will allow us to keep trams running on a single line through St Peter’s Square for the vast majority of the construction work programme – keeping tram links right across the city.”

Why the closure?

This closure marks the start of a 14-month construction programme to build a new expanded stop built closer to the new Cenotaph which will have two new island style platforms and two sets of track in each direction. This will enable more services to run through the city on existing lines and via a new second city crossing.

From September, services will resume in both directions on a single line through the square for the ten-month construction period as works continue alongside. There will be another eight-week closure in 12 months time and the second city crossing route should open in 2017.

One hundred not out for Metrolink as new tram launches at Old Trafford

Metrolink’s 100th tram has entered service after staff from Metrolink operator RATP Dev and TfGM celebrated the milestone on June 25.

Called Tram 100, newly arrived in Manchester from Vienna on 13 June has been allocated number 3100 and undergone rigorous final testing. This addition to the fleet confirms Metrolink as the largest light rail network in the UK carrying around 86,000 passengers a day.

They said;

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “We’ve come a long way since 1992 when the first fleet of just 26 trams started running on the Bury-Altrincham lines.

“Thanks to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority driving forward investment we now have a completely new fleet of trams. And more trams are on the way, as Metrolink’s fleet will ultimately be boosted to 120 vehicles by 2017 to provide extra space and capacity across the network.”

Tram facts

Bombardier and partner Vossloh-Kiepe manufacture the new-style ‘M5000’ yellow and silver trams, the first of which went into service on the Piccadilly to Eccles line on 16 December 2009.

The last old-school T68 model tram was retired last year, meaning the 100-strong fleet is now completely modernised. The same M5000 state-of-the-art model of tram also runs in several European cities, including Cologne, Bonn, Rotterdam and Stockholm.

In September last year TfGM announced it had been able to secure a £34 million deal with Bombardier for 16 new trams with funding from the government’s Local Growth Fund.

That order was in addition to the 10 trams ordered to serve the future Trafford Park line, and the 94 trams ordered to serve the expanded network and replace the entire T68 fleet.

Metrolink runs on a 57 mile network with 92 stops carrying 30 million passengers annually between the city centre, Bury, Altrincham, Eccles, MediaCityUK, Rochdale, Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Chorlton, Didsbury, Wythenshawe and Manchester Airport.

External Links

Liverpool street station in the UK at rush hour

Help and advice with train travel in the UK

Train travel in the UK should be a pleasure, not a headache. So if you’re taking a train on the UK railway, start your journey here. We’ve lots of hints, tips and advice to help you find your way around, travel smoothly and arrive in style by train.

Read more

eurostars passing at 375mph from the drivers seat in france


Welcome to our #railchat page. Our #railchat discussions take place over on Twitter, with our resident expert Phil Marsh. If you would like to get involved, please do join us, and use the dedicated hashtag #railchat. See our previous discussions below:

Read more

Old steam train in Shanty Town Museum

Locomotives & Engines

Our rail network would be nothing without them. From Stephenson's Rocket to British Rail Class 92 and beyond, explore the facts, information and anecdotes behind the steam, diesel and electric locomotives that built the age of the train.

Read more


Latest Tweets


Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh to London Kings Cross by Train

Book in advance with and save 85% advanced bookings.

From £21.00

Buy now

Millenium Dome, London

Birmingham New Street to London Euston by Train

Book in advance with and save 92% on advance bookings.

From £6

Buy now

You may also like...



Follow us on Twitter and become part of our rail community! is the easy way to buy cheap train tickets online.



Control your business fuel costs with a supermarket fuel card – free to apply, no ongoing account charges and no monthly minimum spend.