Metrolink's South Manchester Line finally opened to the public early on 7th July 2011. I briefly visited the line early in the morning of the first day of operation, and again in a more leisurely manner two days later.
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|The view from the Outbound platform at Trafford Bar looking towards the junction with the South Manchester Line (SML). The steep grade on the inbound SML can be clearly seen; it has to burrow under the Altrincham line. The position of the trailing point shows that the last inbound working was from the SML. The red signal controls the divergence of the outbound Altrincham and SM lines. Note the instructions telling drivers how to control the junction!|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:11|
|Tram 3004 climbs the grade into Trafford Bar station from the South Manchester Line. Note that the point position now shows that the previous inbound working was from Altrincham.|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:15|
|Tram 3010 arrives at Trafford Bar on a service to St Werburgh's Road. This was about the fourth passenger working over the new route.|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:18|
|Inside Tram 3010, the driver has called for the route to St Werburgh's Road and has started away. Note the "B" route indication, for Altrincham this display is blank.|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:19|
|Tram 3010 departs empty from St Werburgh's Road, prior to turning back to work the next service to Victoria.|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:25|
|A view of the new tram stop at St Werburgh's Road. To the right of the camera is the former Fallowfield Loop line.|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:26|
|The driver of tram 3010 has changed ends ready to return to the platform at St Werburgh's Road. Beyond the tram is the route to East Didsbury, scheduled for opening in 2013. The non-standard spacing of the electrification structures to the right of the view is where the tram route to the Airport will diverge, due to open in 2016.|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:27|
|Tram 3010 in the inbound platform at St Werburgh's Road ready to work the next service to Victoria.|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:28|
|A view looking north-west from St Werburgh's Road platform.|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:29|
|The driver pauses the tram until the signal is cleared to permit the move via the burrowing junction and into Trafford Bar tram stop.|
|Photograph taken on 07/07/2011 at 06:38|
|Looking from the inbound platform at Chorlton towards Firswood and Manchester. Note the copious signage at the crossing, and the boards in the foor foot which are apparently there to improve the sighting of pedestrians by tram drivers.|
|Photograph taken on 09/07/2011 at 11:51|
|Chorlton station looking towards St Werburgh's Road. The station here is right in the centre of Chorlton village's thriving shopping streets, and there is even a path onto the station from the nearby Morrison's supermarket.
For some reason Chorlton has 5 ticket machines on the inbound platform, all under cover of the awnings, whereas my local stop Timperley has only two, both out in the open!
|Photograph taken on 09/07/2011 at 11:51|
|Firswood station looking towards Manchester.|
|Photograph taken on 09/07/2011 at 12:05|
|St Werburgh's Road is the temporary terminus of the South Manchester Line for a couple of years. National Cycle Route 60 (Chorlton to Eastlands) briefly runs alongside the line here.|
|Photograph taken on 09/07/2011 at 12:19|
|Tram 3007 approaching the foot/cycle route crossing at St Werburgh's Road. The current timetable for the route shows a tram every 12 minutes from 06:00 to 23:00 Mondays to Thursdays, 06:00 to 00:00 Fridays and Saturdays and 07:00 to 22:00 Sundays; all run between St Werburgh's Road and Manchester's Victoria station.|
|Photograph taken on 09/07/2011 at 12:28|
|Looking from St Werburgh's Road's outbound platform, the former Fallowfield Loop line (now National Cycle Route 60) can be seen diverging to the left. Straight on the track is in place for a few hundred yards to act as a turn-back headshunt. The line will open beyond here to East Didsbury in two years or so.|
|Photograph taken on 09/07/2011 at 12:40|
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