04 December 2013

Metrolink driver training on new Oldham town centre line

Work on the new Oldham town centre Metrolink line will take another step forward this week, as tram drivers get their first training sessions on the route.

Driver route training is another important stage in preparing the new line for passenger service, and familiarises drivers with the new route and its junctions, signals and stops.

Oldham’s new town centre Metrolink line is on course to open ahead of schedule, early in the new year.

It will have four new stops – Westwood, Oldham King Street, Oldham Central and Oldham Mumps, with the latter integrating tram and bus services and providing a new, free park and ride site for Metrolink passengers.

During the testing and the training periods, people can use roads and pedestrian crossings as normal.

Peter Cushing, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director, said: “It’s great news that we can work towards opening the new line to Oldham town centre sooner than expected, and driver training is a crucial stage in getting ready for passenger services.

“Obviously the training makes sure that drivers are fully familiar with the route, but also means we can iron out any issues in a live environment before we open the line for our customers in the new year.”

There will be a weeklong closure of the existing line between Central Park and Rochdale Railway Station before passenger services on the new line can open.  

This will enable the permanent “tie-in” works associated with the track and overhead line equipment to be completed and shadow running test trams to operate on the remainder of the line.

More details on the timing of the closure, accompanying replacement bus services and the actual launch date for the town centre line, will be provided closer to the time.

For more information about the Metrolink expansion, log on to www.metrolink.co.uk/futuremetrolink, email future.metrolink@TFGM.com or call 0161 244 1555 (lines are open from 9am to 5pm).

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