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Progress on Metrolink’s long-awaited link to the Trafford Centre has passed a major milestone with the completion of vital new sidings and overhead lines at Crumpsall.

Drone footage from Transport for Greater Manchester filmed by contractors MPT gives a bird’s eye view of the works – a crucial part of the transformation of Crumpsall Metrolink stop in preparation for the new line.

The new sidings tracks will allow future trams coming from the intu Trafford Centre to turn around and head back again, towards the city centre and Trafford Park. Along with the tracks and new overhead line equipment, the weekend’s work also included the installation and testing of new points machines, ready to be put into use when the Trafford Park line opens next year.

The Trafford Park Line is the city region’s first major project to benefit from the Devolution Deal signed by Greater Manchester leaders and central government in November 2014.

The Crumpsall works are due to be completed in October, with the new line to the Trafford Centre opening in the first half of 2020.

A series of other improvement works that will imrove the network for customers is also taking place this summer, including new lighting, CCTV and equipment upgrades at both Cornbrook and Shudehill stops, along with new shelters and crossing point at Shudehill and an improved stair/entrance area, canopy extension and platform weather protection at Cornbrook.

Customers will be kept informed through social media, leaflets, and poster at Metrolink stops. TfGM is also liaising with local businesses to help mitigate any disruptive impacts.

Cllr Doreen Dickinson of the Greater Manchester Transport Committee, said: “This drone footage shows the scale of the works at Crumpsall and allows people to see just what a big project is underway and how dramatically different it looks compared to a few months ago.

“Once operational, the new line will bring Metrolink right into the heart of Europe’s largest industrial estate as well as some of our very best visitor attractions and will open up a wealth of job, sport, culture, retail and leisure opportunities for many.”

TfGM’s Metrolink boss Danny Vaughan said: “The Trafford Park line is currently our most prominent and challenging engineering project and the work at Crumpsall is no exception.

“We’ve taken care to plan the works so that disruption is kept to a minimum and I’d like to thank people for bearing with us.

“I know this can be inconvenient for some, but in the long term passengers will benefit from a more frequent service from Crumpsall when the line opens, and a stop that is more safe, secure and accessible to all.”

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