The Anonymous Widower

Walking Manchester Metrolink’s Second City Crossing

I took these pictures when I walked the route of Manchester Metrolink‘s Second City Crossing (2CC).

I think it could be more interesting than just a second route across the City Centre for the trams.

This Google Map shows the train and tram lines through Deansgate station and Deansgate-Castlefield tram-stop,


  • St. Peter’s Square tram-stop, which is the Western end of the 2CC,  is the next one to the East from Deansgate-Castlefield.
  • The rail and tram lines run close together to the West of Deansgate station.
  • The rail line runs to Trafford Park, Warrington Central and then on to Liverpool.

This Google Map shows the train and tram lines to the immediate East of Manchester Victoria station.


  • Victoria station is the Eastern end of the 2CC.
  • The rail and tram lines run close together to the East of Victoria station.
  • The rail lines run to Rochdale, Burnley, Hebden Bridge and Ashton-under-Lyme.

I can’t believe that the 2CC wasn’t designed without thinking about incorporating it as part of a tram-train route across the City.

Consider the Class 399 tram-train being trialled in Sheffield.

  • It can work as a standard tram on a tram network, running under tram rules.
  • It can work as 62 mph train on an electrified rail line.
  • It can run on both 25 KVAC and 1500 VDC overhead electrification.
  • On rail lines it can share with any train, like for instance a Class 319 pr Class 185 train.

It would probably need to be a version tailored to Manchester’s tram standards, but once the Manchester to Liverpool Line via Warrington and the  Calder Valley Line are electrified, a Class 399 tram-train could work the following route.

  • Starting from Liverpool Lime Street it would run as a train until just before Deansgate station.
  • It would then switch to the tram lines and take the 2CC to Manchester Victoria station, running as a tram.
  • To the East of Victoria station, the tram-train would switch to the Calder Valley Line and run as a tram, perhaps to Burnley or Hebdeb Bridge.

You have to remember that tram-trains are a bit like 4x4s and if there is a route on which they can run, then they can take it given that track, electrification and signalling are in place.

There would be no reason, why once at Burnley say, the tram-train could not go walkabout around the town.


On a quick look, it would appear that the Second City Crossing (2CC) has been built so that tram-trains across the city centre have not been ruled out.




March 9, 2017 - Posted by | Travel | , ,


  1. There are some very tight curves on the street sections of 2cc and also at Piccadilly. Minimum curve not given for class 399.

    Nice videos (two cab rides)

    Comment by Mark Clayton | March 17, 2017 | Reply

  2. I drive in Manchester Centre at least one day most weeks. I don’t walk more than a very short distance simply because a spinal injury prevents it, so I mostly scoot around on my mobility scooter. It is a crazy, mad, overcrowded place – mostly I am in Northern Quarter and Piccadilly Gardens. Coming in is ok, Igo up the A6, turn right and go through Ascots, and then left into Oldham Sr, Rt into Hilton St and left into Tib street, which brings me out by the car park opposite Afflecks Palace, where I can park and unload the scooter – I have a special hoist fitted to my car. Hardly any tramlines. But coming out is awful, lots of tramlines, coming out from under the railway station, and appearing diagonally from behind. Getting on a tram with my scooter I have to get a permit which shows I have passed a test, haven’t managed to arrange the test yet, the right person is never there when I phone. That aside, I can get on the tram fairly locally – a couple of miles away, and not on a road. But the Manchester end worries me a little, because the tram lines are everywhere, and in part of the city I would be, there are a lot of accidents, often to cyclists, and I am similarly vulnerable on my scooter.

    So please, I don’t want any more of them, or anything big and scary.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | March 19, 2017 | Reply

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