As we near the planned restart of tram operations on the Altrincham line the pressure is building in the delivery team. The guys replacing the overhead line equipment on the old British Rail infrastructure are pulling out all the stops trying to get everything finished on time, whilst in the city centre what feels like hundreds of orange clad bodies are feverishly trying to get the tracks and road surfaces in position ready for the trams to run.
To add to the stress, it is Manchester Pride this weekend and there are expected to be thousands of extra people in the city making moving materials and guys around even more torturous than usual.
There is a real will to get the work complete and it will not be for a lack of trying if it is not quite ready. I am sure trams will be running again on Tues 1st September.
Update 2nd Sept
Well I wasn’t quite right, but St Peters Station was back up and running as planned. Unfortunaley there have been a few problems down at the Altrincham end.
I thought I would post a little update on the state of progress on the Manchester Metrolink city centre track renewals.
Things have moved on a pace over the last couple of weeks with lots of pieces of separate track now being joined together. We have continuous track from Princess Street to Delta, Victoria to Dantzic Street, Shudehill Rd to Church Street, with work progressing around Market Street Station and round into the Delta.
The new surface finish (paving) is looking very posh, perhaps it will put some of the existing paving to shame.
The job is suffering from the odd hitch, such as a run of failed welds which has led to a some rework.
Work has finally started to move on at Shudehill, there have been a few hitches, but things should now be starting to progress with the Inbound due to be fit to run trams by the end of August. Time is tight but with a bit of effort this should be possible.
It has also rained a lot, and I mean a lot. Not a day seems to go by without the heavens opening and pouring down on Manchester.
The sun has been shining and progress has been made.
The last couple of weeks in Manchester have seen quite a lot of progress across the city. Some areas are now paved and new areas of work have been opened up.
It looks as though the hard work of everyone involved is starting to come together.
The photo below show the latest area to start being ripped out, the worksite has extended into Piccadilly Gardens on the Delta.
In other areas the rails are in and the new street finish is going down. This is looking very good and hopefully will get the approval from the city residents. How long will it remain free from chewing gum though!
We also get the very occasional opportunity to enjoy the lighter aspects of working in a vibrant city centre like Manchester. Here is Dave (Shammy) one of our key guys enjoying a moment with the girls from the Co-op. They have just opened a new store on the High Street directly opposite one of our worksites.
Work at Mosley Street Station has restarted after a week or so of seeming inactivity.
New point work is being welded in preparation for installation and the track in the station is getting its new very attractive paving.
A new area of Piccadilly Gardens has also been fenced off and the old track is being ripped out.
As you can see from the photos, it rains quite a lot in Manchester!