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More On The Train-Trams: They Really Are Coming, And So Are Two New Metrolink Spurs

Trams crossing on Cross Street, Manchester

The proposal for a new outer circle Metrolink tram line, as floated by some analysts, has not made it into Greater Manchester's new transport strategy. But the idea of train-trams has: three new lines, Rochdale to Heywood, Manchester Airport to Wilmslow, and another in the south from Altrincham to Hale, are all included.

Bisnow first reported the train-tram plan in October.

Two new metrolink extensions are also included, including a spur to the office development site at Davenport Green near Manchester Airport, and another to include Manchester Airport's Terminal 2 which is currently accessible only by a long, very tedious, fitfully operative skyway walk.

Proposals for the three tram-train experiments, and two new metrolink spurs, will be worked up to a full business case within the next five years the strategy document said.

Tram-trains have been operating in the UK since October when the pilot scheme in Sheffield entered into service between the city, the Meadowhall shopping complex and Rotherham. Unfortunately the service almost immediately hit a lorry, Global Rail News reports.

The potential for tram-trains in Greater Manchester was identified in 2013 and a series of lines selected for further analysis. These include the Stockport to Hale line, Manchester to Glossop and Hadfield, Manchester to Hazel Grove, and Manchester to Wigan and Atherton. The cost was estimated at £870M in 2013. Progress will depend on learning the lessons of the Sheffield experiment.