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Eccles trams to start running this Sunday after two month closure

Trams will be running from Eccles to Manchester this Sunday the first time since the line closed on Sunday, 26 June, 2016.

The transport body said essential upgrades were necessary to repair significant wear on sections of curved rail on the Eccles line.

The Metrolink network will once again come together when the new-look St Peter’s Square stop opens to customers on Sunday, 28 August.

The re-opening of the stop, which has been closed to passengers for 14 months, also signifies the return of twin track services through the square and the uniting of the city and wider network for the first time in nine weeks.

At the same time, a full Eccles line service will be restored following extensive track replacement work to ensure the continued safe and reliable running of trams along the route for many years to come.

Services will resume subject to a thorough testing and commissioning process and people are being reminded to pay attention to the tram lines and their surroundings as test trams operate over the coming days.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) transformation of the St Peter’s Square stop is part of Manchester City Council’s flagship redevelopment of the area and will sit as a proud centrepiece in this major new civic space and an integral part of the transformational Grow* project.

In a multi-million pound project, the new-look stop has been moved towards the northern end of the square, near the relocated cenotaph. Boasting two new island platforms and two sets of twin track, the stop will allow more frequent and reliable tram services to run through the city and across the tram network when the Second City Crossing opens next year.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “I’m delighted we’re going to be able to re-open the St Peter’s Square stop and reconnect the network over the bank holiday weekend, as planned.

“To be able to restore services to and through the stop is a significant milestone and over the coming weeks there’ll be further work to the stop and wider area as the finishing touches are applied alongside the city council’s ongoing works.

“Once complete, St Peter’s Square will undoubtedly be the jewel in Manchester’s crown.”

TfGM’s Metrolink Director, Peter Cushing, said: “I’d like to thank our customers for bearing with us over the summer weeks while we got St Peter’s Square stop ready to welcome back passengers and completed important maintenance work along the Eccles line.

“There is never a good time to do these things but they are vitally important to support the region’s continued growth and futureproof the Metrolink network.

“We are seeing unprecedented investment across the transport network that will ultimately deliver significant changes and improvements for customers.”

Metrolink customers are advised to find out more about service changes at www.metrolink.co.uk or by calling Customer Services on 0161 205 2000.

Follow @MCRMetrolink on Twitter for live travel updates.

The following Metrolink services will run from Sunday 28 August:

Altrincham – Bury (Mon to Fri 0715–1930 and Sat 0930–1830 only)
Altrincham – Piccadilly
East Didsbury – Victoria (Mon to Fri before 0715 and after 1930. Sat before 0930 and after 1830. All day Sunday).
MediaCityUK – Piccadilly (Mon to Fri 0715–2000 and Sat 0900–1800 only)
Eccles – Ashton-under-Lyne via MediaCityUK
Manchester Airport – Cornbrook
Bury – Etihad Campus
Shaw and Crompton – East Didsbury (Mon to Fri 0715–1930 and Sat 0930–1830 only)
Rochdale Town Centre – Exchange Square
Firswood – Manchester Airport (0300 – 0600 only)
East Didsbury – Deansgate-Castlefield (Mon to Fri 0715–1930 and Sat 0930–1830 only)

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.