Manchester Metro Link Oldham Line opens
Image Courtesy of Thales
Thales UKs Ground Transportation Systems business has passed another significant milestone with the launch of new service into the heart of Oldham Town Centre ahead of schedule.
Following a week long closure of the Rochdale Line, to allow the track, overhead power lines and systems to be connected to a brand new alignment through the town centre, final dynamic testing and driver training has been successful.
Four New Stops for New Line
On Monday 27 January the first in-service tram passed through the new town centre, having left Manchester Victoria at 5.09am, reaching the Westwood stop circa 5.30am. The first tram from Rochdale departed at 6.00am, arriving at the new Oldham Mumps stop circa 6.18am.
The new line has four new stops:
- Oldham King Street
- Oldham Central; and
- Oldham Mumps
The latter integrates tram and bus services and provides a new, free park and ride site for Metrolink passengers. Journeys from Rochdale to Manchester Victoria take around 45 minutes, while journeys from Oldham Mumps take around half an hour.
Martin Murphy, Programme Director, Manchester Metrolink at Thales UK said;
The launch of the new service to Oldham Town Centre provides us with a great start to 2014 and is the third line commissioning in a row to be opened several months ahead of schedule. There was significant complexity in the final stages of commissioning, which required detailed planning and co-ordination between the client, the operator, our civil colleagues within MPT and the Thales team to ensure a seamless transition into passenger services. I would like to thank all those involved for the dedication shown to achieve this important milestone especially during the final week. Our nextfocus now will be on commissioning Rochdale Town Centre, which is due to launch in spring 2014, the conversion of the Altrincham line to TMS and completion of the Airport Line.
Critical Component to Economical Development
On a final note, Alistair McPhee, Vice President of Ground Transportation Systems, Thales UK shared his views on Oldhams new Town Centre commissioning:
The addition of Oldham Town Centre to the Metrolink system will play a significant part in the further regeneration of Oldham and will be a critical component of economic development for the region as a whole. Thales UK, working with our client Transport for Greater Manchester, are proud of the continued benefits our people and systems bring to the largest tramway system in operation in the UK.
This is yet another successful commissioning for the Manchester Metrolink Programme further endorsing Thales reliability when it comes to delivery.
Jon Lamonte, Chief Executive, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said:
Id like to thank everyone who played a part in getting this latest phase of Metrolink expansion over the line. Having walked the route on several occasions, it is a great example of how transport can really transform a place I hope it acts as a springboard for developing Oldham. I know that this has been eagerly awaited by many for a long time now and it is a great step in building our reputation for delivery of a quality product for the public.