Contractors appointed for Metrolink extensions

from left - Kevin Ford (Thales), Gerard van de Aast (Volker Wessels), Andy Crompton (Laing O'Rourke), and David Leather (Chief Executive, GMPTE)

This week has been a landmark for Manchester’s Metrolink system as contractors were appointed to construct new Metrolink lines to Oldham and Rochdale town centres and to Manchester Airport via Wythenshawe.

GMPTE has appointed MPact-Thales (MPT) to design, construct and maintain the three new tram lines.

In addition to the 48 new trams ordered for Greater Manchester’s expanding Metrolink network, 14 new trams are being procured to serve the extensions to Manchester Airport and Oldham and Rochdale town centres, bringing the total number of trams on order with Bombardier to 62.

David Leather, Chief Executive of GMPTE, said: “Following the approval of funding support from AGMA and GMITA, we have concluded negotiations for the delivery of the long awaited expansion of the Metrolink network.

“Contracts have now been signed for new lines to Manchester Airport and the town centres of Oldham and Rochdale, adding to the construction that is already underway from Manchester through Droylsden to Ashton, from Manchester through Chorlton to East Didsbury and the conversion of the former heavy rail line to Rochdale via Oldham.

“This milestone in Metrolink history will see the system almost treble compared to today’s network.

“With the support of our Delivery Partner, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and the experience of MPT, we are confident of successful delivery of the new lines.”

MPT, a consortium of Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Thales UK, has already begun work on the three new lines and it is anticipated that trams will be running to Oldham and Rochdale town centres during spring 2014 and to Manchester Airport during mid 2016.

Bryan Diggins, MPT Project Director, said: “It is a great achievement for the consortium to continue working together on this critical project.  This award will allow us to complete the original vision for Manchester, providing the vital link from the urban areas of the city to the Airport, and essential town centre links for both Oldham and Rochdale.”

Nick Flew, Managing Director of Parsons Brinckerhoff Europe, said: “We are very proud to be integral to the expansion of Greater Manchester’s iconic Metrolink network and this latest landmark, further improving transport facilities for the region.“

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