The Anonymous Widower

Manchester Metrolink To Gorton And Glossop

The Wikipedia entry for the Manchester Metrolink doesn’t say much about  Glossop, except that one of the original lines would have taken over the Glossop Line to Gorton, Glossop and Hadfield stations.

In Manchester Metrolink Extensions In A Sentence, I quoted this sentence from the Manchester Evening News.

It includes tram extensions to Port Salford, Middleton and Stalybridge, plus ‘tram trains’ to Hale, Warrington, Gorton and Glossop.

How would tram-trains from Gorton and Glossop join the current Metrolink network at Piccadilly station?


  • Glossop Line trains use the low-numbered platforms on the Northern side of Manchester Piccadilly station.
  • Some plans have shown High Speed Two platforms on the save side of Piccadilly station.

Look at this Google Map of the Northern side of the station.


  1. Two trams crossing the green space to the North of the station.
  2. The area between the tram lines and the tracks going into Piccadilly station, appears to be mainly car parking and low-grade buildings.
  3. The tracks leading to Gorton and Glossop are on the Northern side of Piccadilly station.

These are a few pictures of the the North of the station.

I feel it would be very feasible for tram-trains to connect the Glossop Line and the tram station underneath the main station.

In fact there would be no reason, why tram-trains shouldn’t continue to serve Manchester Piccadilly train station.

High Speed Two

High Speed Two’s terminals in Manchester is in a state of foux at the moment, so it might be preferable to just replace all Glossop Line services with tram-trains and use Manchester Piccadilly tram station.

Updating The Glossop Line

The Glossop Line is electrified with 25 KVAC overhead wires, which looks to be one of the systems in worst condition in the UK along with the Crouch Valley Line in Essex.

It would probably need replacing, as the rust weevils holding it up, must be getting very tired.

To say that some stations look like they’ve seen better times, is an understatement.

Class 399 Tram-Trains For Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester are serious about tram-trains and I believe that their usefullness to the City could be explored by running the existing service between Manchester Piccadilly and Glossop using a small fleet.


Extending the Manchester Metrolink to Gorton and Glossop using tram-trains appears to be very feasible.

In my view, it would have made a good trial route to prove the concept of tram-trains in the UK.


July 29, 2019 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. TfGM’s page on possible future extensions is at

    A lot of Metrolink is based on former heavy-rail lines, with connecting city-street tram lines. The trams are high-floor specifically to be compatible with the old rail station platforms. If the definition of a tram-train is that it runs partly on rail lines and partly on city streets, then Metrolink already is one. I think they should look particularly at units with batteries, so the network can be extended without the cost of electrification.

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 29, 2019 | Reply

    • The South Wales Metro tram-trains are the same as those in Sheffield, except that they will have a battery capability as well!

      As I said, I think it would be a good idea, if TfGM ordered enough tram-trains for Piccadilly and Glossop and see how everybody liked them. They could connect them to the Metrolink later. Manchester needs more trams as I understand it, so perhaps they could also try them out on crowded routes.

      Comment by AnonW | July 29, 2019 | Reply

      • I’ve just been looking into the S Wales Metro in a bit more detail, and AFAICS the tram-trains will not actually be on street, i.e. trams, for very long – just a few hundred yds along the new extension at Cardiff Bay. The batteries will enable the whole Butetown branch from Queen St to remain unelectrified, but it seems a bit strange to have tram-trains just for that.

        Very different from Manchester, where a major selling point for the original Altrincham-Bury line was that you could use trams to create a complete cross-city route inc on-street through the city centre.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 29, 2019

      • Lookup Cardiff Crossrail! It looks like that will be a Cross-city tram.

        According to a Shegfield tram-druver, that I spoke to, they have bags of grunt and easily handle the hills in Sheffield with a full load, whereas the current ones don’t!

        Comment by AnonW | July 29, 2019

      • well, Cardiff Crossrail is just a proposal – an ‘aspiration’ – not something you order trains for now.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 29, 2019

      • gives some further advantages of tram-trains: ‘the application of tram-trains which allows more cost and engineering flexibility than is possible with a pure heavy rail solution. They can operate on tighter curves, steeper gradients, require shorter passing loops as well running “on-street” and operating to line of sight “tramway” protocols.’ Also, I don’t know how they compare on price with pure trains. If they’re cheaper, that would be an obvious advantage 🙂

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 30, 2019

      • They certainly have good cornering ability as demonstrated in Sheffield and Karlsruhe They are heavier than a tram because of crash protection for main lines, but the extra power is useful in a hilly city like Sheffield.
        I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sheffield go to an all tram-train fleet soon,as the originals are getting old and lack power. I think Karlsruhe already has gone this way.
        As to tramway protocols,in Zwickau, the Germans run ordinary diesel multiple units as trams, through the city. Imagine using a Class 10 as a tram.

        Comment by AnonW | July 30, 2019

      • distinguishes between a tram-train – a tram which can run on train lines – and a train-tram – a train which can run on tram lines. The Altrincham, Bury and Oldham/Rochdale Metrolink lines (and much of Croydon) is a train line which has been converted to tram use, though I suppose there’s no reason why they couldn’t be converted back again to run tram-trains. It would make extending the network simpler; for example, if Altrincham ran tram-trains, it would be easy to extend to Hale.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 30, 2019

      • Are Manchester having a touch of the Baldricks. They need more trams. So why not buy some tram-trains and run them on services to and from Altrincham. This would release the current trams for other routes. They could then extend the Altrincham service to Hale or even further, using battery power.
        Metrolink would get a few more trams and a useful extension.
        Remember the performance and capacity of the Stadler tram-trains isn’t far off that of a Class 156. So could they be used to open up the Middlewich branch?
        I think tram-trains allow transport planners to use their imagination and cunning!

        Comment by AnonW | July 30, 2019

      • just took a look at TfGM’s delivery plan for 2020-5 Map 2 (complete business case) shows Tram-Train Pathfinder projects for Rochdale-Heywood, Airport-Wilmslow and Altrincham-Hale. Map 3 (‘developing options’) shows several further tram-train options, inc Glossop, Marple, and Hazel Grove (like Glossop, already electrified).

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 30, 2019

  2. […] Manchester Metrolink To Gorton And Glossop, I showed how it might be possible to connect the tram stop under Piccadilly station to the Glossop […]

    Pingback by Could Platforms 1 And 2 At Manchester Piccadilly Station Become A Tram-Train Terminal? « The Anonymous Widower | August 14, 2019 | Reply

  3. […] Manchester Metrolink To Gorton And Glossop […]

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