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 | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Manchester Metrolink Extensions In A Sentence

This article on the Manchester Evening News, sums up the extensions to the Manchester Metrolink like this.

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

We all need more pithy sentences like this. Me included!

July 29, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Exploring The Glossop Line

On the miserable Saturday at the weekend in Manchester, I needed something to do in the dry.

So I took a train to Hadfield station on the Glossop Line and back from Manchester Piccadilly station.

I’ve rarely seen such run-down electrification, except perhaps in some parts of Eastern Europe.

  • The gantries were put up- in the 1950s for the 1500 VDC electrification of the iconic Woodhead Line.
  • It was converted to 25 KVAC in 1964.
  • A lot of the gantries stretch across long-since removed tracks.

At least the train was a reasonably modern three-car Class 323 train from the 1990s.

New Class 331 Trains

These trains will be replaced by new Class 331 trains. Wikipedia says this.

The four-car Class 331 units will be deployed on electrified services from Manchester Piccadilly to replace the Class 323 units which are due to return to Porterbrook at the end of their current lease in 2018.

This means the following.

  • An increase of train operating speed from 90 mph to 100 mph.
  • |An increase in train capacity from 264 to 284.

I also suspect the extra performance of the trains could mean that the current ninety minute round trip between Manchester Piccadilly and Hadfield will be reduced to under an hour. If this can be done, the current three trains needed to run a two trains per hour (tph) service on the line will be reduced to two.

Future Proposals

In the Wikipedia entry for the Glossop Line, there is a section that is entitled Future Proposals. This is a summary of what is said.

  • A new Manchester Piccadilly to Stalybridge service will be introduced.
  • The track between Dinting, Glossop and Hadfield stations will be improved to allow higher operating speeds.
  • The track between Guide Bridge and Dinting stations will be upgraded to allow operating speeds of up to 90 mph.
  • A new stabling facility for up to 20 vehicles will be built at Guide Bridge.

This will allow up to four tph on the route.

I suspect they’ll also need to refurbish the electrification and some of the stations.

Onward From Hadfield

There are always calls from various places to reopend the line past Hadfield to Sheffield, by reopening the Woodhead Liue to Penistone.

  • There are two closed stations before the closed Woodhead Tunnel; Crowden and Woodhead.
  • Most of the route from Hadfield to Woodhead is part of the National Cycle Network.
  • There’s little up there except scenery and the Woodhead Reservoir.

I doubt there would be much of an economic case for extending the line even as far as Woodhead.

If there was serious pressure from those enjoying the scenery it would probably be better served by an electric or hydrogen-powered bus.

High Speed 2

High Speed 2 will mean a major redevelopment of Manchester Piccadilly station. In the Wikipedia entry for Manchester Piccadilly station under High Speed 2, this is said.

To accommodate High Speed 2 (HS2), an extension would require four platforms and a 7.5 miles (12.1 km) tunnel under south Manchester to join the West Coast Main Line at Ardwick.


  1. These new platforms would appear to be planned to be next to Platform 1, where I caught my train to Hadfield.
  2. As High Speed 2 will be in tunnel, trains from the Glossop Line should be able to cross over into their current platforms.
  3. If there is a four tph service between Manchester Piccadilly and Hadfield, this would need just one platform, capable of handling a four-car train.

There will probably be some interesting platform layouts, that a good architect can exploit.



January 22, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , | 6 Comments