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28 February 2013: Rochdale Metrolink open
12 February 2013: Droylsden Metrolink line open
11 February 2013: Route training on Oldham-Rochdale line
29 January 2013: TfGM appoints new Metrolink Director
Metrolink services to Rochdale started on 28 February 2013. They are an extension from Shaw and Compton, with new stops at Newhey and Milnrow, formerly railway stations, plus Kingsway and Newbold. This 7.4km (4.6-mile) extension runs to Rochdale Railway Station.
A new more than 200 space car park is available for park–and–ride passengers on Metrolink and heavy rail services from Rochdale.
Services run every 12 minutes via Oldham to Manchester city centre then on to St. Werburgh’s Road in Chorlton.
On Friday 8 February there was a soft opening with 3 days of free travel for local residents. TfGM sent almost 20,000 ‘Free Preview’ passes to homes in the catchment areas. They were put to good use, with reports of standing room only on some trams over the weekend. This was a gesture of thanks to the community for its patience during the construction of the street–running sections of the new line.
The line opened to the general public on Monday 11 February with regular advertised services. Trams are every 12 minutes to and from Bury via the city centre.
Test trams have started running between Shaw and Crompton and Rochdale railway station as part of Metrolink’s driver route training programme.
The trams will not be carrying passengers during this period.
The Oldham line will be extended to Rochdale in the near future with the opening of five new Metrolink stops — Newhey, Milnrow, Kingsway, Newbold and Rochdale Railway Station.
TfGM have appointed Peter Cushing as Metrolink Director. He will formally take up this role from 4 February, ahead of Philip Purdy returning to Australia for family reasons. In recent years, Peter has worked with TfGM’s Metrolink team on a long-term but interim basis, overseeing existing day-to-day operations during the current £1.4 billion expansion programme.
Peter brings a wealth of expertise and experience in the rail industry to the role, not least in rejuvenating Central Trains as Operations Director between March 2003 and January 2005. He was part of the team involved in the DfT’s remapping of the heavy rail network that saw the creation of the East Midlands Trains, London Midland and Cross Country franchises, and has also worked on several rail franchise bids, winning three.
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This page was written by Tony Williams, Manchester Area Officer, Light Rail Transit Association. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments, ideas or suggestions about these pages.