Wednesday, April 09, 2014

ABC Wednesday: M is for
More Metrolink Manoeuvres in Manchester.

Last week I brought you photographs of Manchester Central Library and Library Walk. Here are some more photographs I took that same day.

This area off Cooper Street and Princess Street in front of the Town Hall Extension was formerly occupied by a Peace Garden. It has been used as a building site for the last few years, firstly during the renovations to the Central Library and now for the revamping of the St Peter's Square area and the construction of the new Metrolink Second City Crossing.

The rapid extension of the Metrolink network since 2009 has placed significant extra demand on the existing line through the centre of Manchester due to the additional number of tram movements as all the routes run through a single line in the city centre. In January 2014, work began on a second Metrolink line through city centre as part of the Transport Strategy for Manchester City Centre. As well as giving extra capacity, it will also provide more flexibility to serve special events and reduce disruption caused by future maintenance and renewals in the city centre.

The route will run from the existing line at Victoria Station, through Exchange Square, Corporation Street and Cross Street and Princess Street to the existing Deansgate-Castlefield stop via an extended and enlarged stop at St Peter’s Square.

The current Metrolink tram stop at St Peter's Square has two platforms. Behind southbound platform on the left the area around St George's Cross and the Cenotaph is fenced off. As part of the major redevelopment of the St Peter's Square area, the Grade II* listed Cenotaph has been surrounded by scaffolding and is being dismantled.

The war memorial will be relocated from its current island site between the St Peter's Square Metrolink platform and Mosley Street to a new spot opposite the Cooper Street entrance of the Town Hall. The cenotaph will be put into storage for cleaning and restoration work to be carried out before it is reinstated in its new location in time for the annual Remembrance Sunday service in the autumn.

St Peter's Cross, which marks the original location of St Peter's Church, will be restored and reassembled in its current location following the work.

The northbound platform is full of people waiting for the Rochdale tram that is just crossing Oxford Street.

As I walked down the platform, past the waiting crowds Metrolink tram #3031 en route to Altrincham went by but the Rochdale bound tram #3033 had broken down on the crossing and a further three trams were stacked up behind it.

As Oxford Street was reduced to one lane due to the work surrounding the Cenotaph, traffic was having a problem getting round the broken down tram.

I left them to it and went to catch a bus.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday.


  1. Great story of the Metrolink Manoeuvres and wonderful urban pictures.

  2. Tricky balance doing MASS transit!

  3. Most interesting. Last year I was in Manchester (by coincidence the same date as I took this week's ABC photo of the Town Hall) I took a photo of the cenotaph with the library in the background (the scaffolding was elsewhere). I would never have guessed I'd never see it there again. I may now have to reclassify this as a historic photo!

  4. When it works it's a great system...yes?

  5. Interesting post and enjoyed seeing the photos!

  6. Sad that the peace garden has gone.

    Here in Edinburgh our trams are running now (though yet to take passengers) after years of disruption and massive spending over budget. I hope the Manchester tram extension is less painful...