Work on the new East Manchester Metrolink line to Droylsden will take another step forward this week, with trams being tested on the route from 8 October and drivers getting their first training sessions on the route later in the month.
The testing on the line will initially take place overnight, and then during the daytime. This will ensure that all technology on the line is working correctly and interacting properly with traffic signalled junctions.
As these tests progress, driver route training will begin. Driver route training is another important stage in preparing the line for passenger service, and familiarises drivers with the new route and its junctions, signals and stops.
The progress made with testing will influence the programme of driver training.
The training sessions will take place during the daytimes and will involve drivers taking trams up and down the line, using the new stops.
During the testing and the training periods, people can use roads and pedestrian crossings as normal.
Philip Purdy, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director, said:
“Driver training is an essential stage in the process of bringing any new tram line into service.
“It not only enables us to make sure our team of drivers are fully familiar with the route, but also helps to iron out any issues that may need to be resolved before the line opens for passenger service.
“Once driver training begins, people who live and work around the new line will start to see more trams on the whole length of the route, from Piccadilly in the city centre through East Manchester and all the way to Droylsden itself, calling at stops along the way.
“We would just like to remind people that while we’re training our drivers, these trams are not in passenger service – so even if you see them at stops, please don’t try to board them just yet!”
Once the driver training is complete, there will be a period of ‘shadow running’, in which empty trams will operate to the same timetable as they would if they were in passenger service.