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Construction starts on Chorlton tram line

They're putting in the walls and it could get noisy

Published on July 29th 2009.

Construction starts on Chorlton tram line

The folks at Metrolink can't be getting much of a summer holiday this year. Not content with causing chaos in the city centre and pulling up the Altrincham and Eccles lines, they're now bringing their diggers and rigs into Chorlton.

From spring 2011 trams will run along the new line every six minutes.

Not that anyone in M21 will be complaining. Chorlton has been teased with the promise of a tram line for years. Now it looks like the dream of fast, green, expensive public transport is finally being realised.

The first piece of major construction work on the Chorlton line starts next week when contractors begin building the retaining walls along the former rail route. Mpact-Thale, the consortium appointed to design, build and maintain the new lines and depot, has already cleared the overgrown cutting and is installing drainage along the trackbed.

A piling rig will arrive in Firswood next week and work will progress down the route over the next few months to the Chorlton High stop at St Werburgh's Road.

The consortium and GMPTE are trying to minimise disruption to local people. They have a public liaison team on hand, have written to thousands of Chorlton residents about the work, and will be using special monitoring equipment to keep a check on noise levels (of the construction work, not the NIMBY protesters). If it goes over agreed levels, work will stop immediately and construction techniques will be adapted.

MPact-Thales project director, Bryan Diggins, said: “People will really see work gather pace on the new tram line to Chorlton over the next few months.

“We’ll be using piling rigs to put in retaining walls along the cutting – this will cause some noise. We are mindful of the impact on residents so we will only be working in the daytime Monday to Friday and moving work down the line every couple of days.

“Once this is finished, and all the drainage laid, we’ll be in a position to start putting in the foundations for the tram stops in the early autumn.”

The new line to Chorlton will branch off from the existing Altrincham line at the Trafford Bar stop, and continue to new stops being built at Firswood, Chorlton and Chorlton High. From spring 2011 trams will run along the new line every six minutes.

A new tram depot is also being built next to the Trafford Bar stop on the triangle of land between Elsinore Road, Ayres Road, and the trackbed of the disused railway line.

The 1.7-mile line to Chorlton is being built as part of a £600m expansion of the tram network which will also see new routes open to Oldham and Rochdale, MediaCityUK in Salford, and Droylsden.

East Didsbury may also get a new route, calling at Withington, Burton Road, West Didsbury, Didsbury Village and East Didsbury. Funding has been earmarked for the project and the business case is currently with the Department of Transport for approval. Work could start by the end of the year if it gets the go-ahead.

To find out more about the project, call the Metrolink public liaison team on 0161 244 1555 (open during office hours), email future.metrolink@gmpte.gov.uk or visit www.gmpte.com.

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJuly 29th 2009.

And what about the further extension to Stockport and to the Airport so Chorltoners can fly away?

SausagesJuly 29th 2009.

Diggins! He's called Diggins!

gingaJuly 29th 2009.

Sausages - we're already in your midst...

Agent Rant-a-thonJuly 29th 2009.

This link will spoil chorlton, for a long time chorlton has been isolated somewhat by odd timetables on transport links, to its advantage I believe, how long before chorlton is overrun with white shirted townies every Friday and Saturday night? Abode is bad enough as it is with hordes of idiots making more work for the police each weekend. damn kids, go back and drink in lounge you t//4ts, BAH

firepufferJuly 29th 2009.

Typical, the metro goes to places that are already well served by PT links - E Didsbury ! What a joke, it has buses every few minutes and a train station. Meanwhile in Cheadle we have a very iffy bus service and a walk to Gatley station for a train. Lets even things up a bit chaps!!

SausagesJuly 29th 2009.

Yeah, its really hard to get to Chorlton the 86 only goes every two minutes! But what about poor old Manchester, when it gets flooded with smug, stubbly Chorltonites finally freed from their isolation and demanding Belgian beers and organic sausages?

Tracy CleverJuly 29th 2009.

Diggins by name, Diggins by nature. Let's hope he's ot off the rails.

deborahJuly 29th 2009.

thats not nice my Anon!

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