The first test tram ran along the second phase of Manchester’s Second City Crossing in the early hours of December 1.

UK: Transport for Greater Manchester confirmed on December 2 that MPact Thales and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff will design and build the Trafford Centre extension of the Metrolink tram network.

The MPact Thales consortium includes civils and track contractors VolkerRail and Laing O’Rourke, along with railway systems supplier Thales. WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff’s role is that of delivery partner. The partnership has already built extensions to MediaCityUK, Manchester Airport, Ashton, East Didsbury, Oldham and Rochdale, and is working on the Second City Crossing, which is due to open early next year.

‘We have achieved a phenomenal amount since 2008 with bigger and better things still to come so I’m pleased our partnership will continue with the expansion of the Trafford Park line’, said TfGM’s Metrolink Director Peter Cushing.

The 5·5 km Trafford Centre extension would run from Pomona on the Eccles branch to the Trafford Centre retail complex. There would be six stops on a mostly segregated alignment.