The Anonymous Widower

Tram-Trains At Manchester Victoria Station

In Could A Class 399 Tram-Train With Batteries Go Between Manchester Victoria And Rochdale/Bury Bolton Street/Rawtenstall Stations?, I speculated on how tram-trains from Rochdale, Bury Bolton Street and Rawtenstall stations might join the Manchester Metro Link at Manchester Victoria station.

I showed this Google Map of the lines at Manchester Victoria.

On my weekend trip to the North, I took these pictures yesterday from the Metrolink platforms at Manchester Victoria.

I can’t believe that it would be the most difficult track design project to allow tram-trains to swap between the rail and tram networks at this point.

The bigger problem, is probably to decide, where the tram-trains would go on the other side of Manchester.

On the other hand, they could use electrified rail lines to Bolton or Wigan North Western.

  • The performance and capacity of a Class 399 tram-train is very comparable to a Pacer.
  • Wigan North Western station has three South-facing bay platforms.

Manchester’s Metrolink designers are going to have a lot of fun.

February 24, 2019 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,


  1. There is or at least was a connection between Metrolink and NR less than a kilometer out of Victoria, and there is also one at Newton Heath.

    On the south side the solution might be to continue the Didsbury Metrolink to rejoin the [singled] LMS route at Cheadle Heath and continue (in parallel) to Hazel Grove, where another chord could take the tram-trains onto the line to Buxton. Quite some cost with this option.

    The other difficulties are that the Metrolink has a lot of very tight turns, especially on the street running sections in the city centre, and an overall speed limit of 50mph. This may represent a problem for the rolling stock. This would also make journey times long and unattractive for customers further out, particularly where there were rail alternatives (East Didsbury, Hazel Grove etc.).

    More feasible might be tram trains onto the East Lancs line. There is a connection, the line is currently lightly trafficked and the track is former main line rail all the way to Victoria. These could then continue to Wigan Wallgate or Bolton..

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | February 26, 2019 | Reply

    • The German cousins of the Class 399 tram/trains as used in Sheffield, take very tight curves in Karlsruhe and go about 100 km from the City to places like Baden-Baden. Sheffield tram drivers like them and they have bags of grunt for hills. They can also work in pairs. I’ll check.out the links to National Rail next time I’m in Manchester.

      Comment by AnonW | February 26, 2019 | Reply

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