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Tue May 11 2021

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£350m deal signed for Manchester tram extension

12 Jul 17 Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has signed a contract with the MPact Thales consortium (MPT) for construction of the latest extension of its Metrolink tram system.

Artists impression of one of the stops on the new line
Artists impression of one of the stops on the new line

MPT, a consortium of Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Thales, will design and construct the £350m extension to the Intu Trafford Centre via Trafford Park.

WSP is TfGM’s delivery partner.

The new 5.5km Trafford Park line will increase the size of the Metrolink network to more than 103km (64 miles), served by 99 stops. It will branch off from the existing Pomona stop and call at six new tram stops, ending at the city’s biggest shopping centre.

This is the first major project to benefit from the GM Devolution Deal, signed by Greater Manchester leaders and central government, in November 2014.

The contract was procured as a variation to the one that has already seen MPT deliver extensions to MediaCityUK, Ashton, East Didsbury, Oldham and Rochdale, Manchester Airport and the Second City Crossing.

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Chair of the TfGM committee, Cllr Andrew Fender, said: “It makes absolute sense to continue the award-winning partnership with MPT and WSP to deliver the next exciting chapter in the Metrolink story. The phase three expansion programme has without doubt been one of largest and most ambitious transport projects to be delivered in the UK and is unprecedented in the light rail industry in terms of the size and scale of growth. I’m pleased that all formalities are now complete - it’s an existing and successful partnership and I know we are in great hands with Metrolink’s latest exciting expansion.”

MPT director Bryan Glass said: “The Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Thales MPT consortium has successfully delivered three main contract extensions for Manchester Metrolink. We are therefore delighted to continue as a trusted partner to TfGM delivering the latest phase of the Metrolink’s growth taking the line through Trafford Park to the Trafford Centre.”

Ian Beaumont, programme director at WSP in Manchester, said: “We’ve built a strong relationship working with TfGM and MPT to deliver the vision of an integrated transport system across the city and we look forward to continuing this partnership. Our in-depth knowledge of the city and range of technical and programme management expertise makes us best-placed to oversee the next phase of this major infrastructure expansion to the Metrolink system, improving connectivity across Greater Manchester for the tens of millions of commuters and visitors who use the network every year.”

Advanced utility works are now under way along the line of the route, which will run concurrently with other enabling works. Up to 40 ducts and pipes will be relayed for electricity, water, gas, and telecommunications by one single contractor within each joint utility trench. When combined, the trench work totals 3.2km.

Work on the new Metrolink line is due to be completed by the end of 2020.

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