Eccles line undergoes major track renewals

The MPT joint venture of VolkerRail and Laing O’Rourke has recently undertaken extensive track renewals work along Greater Manchester’s Eccles line.

VolkerRail undertaking work to upgrade Greater Manchester's Eccles Line (12).jpg

For over a decade, MPT has worked with Transport for Great Manchester (TfGM) to transform Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network into the UK’s largest light rail scheme, with over 100km of track and 99 stops across the whole network.

The 6.37km Eccles line, which runs from Manchester to Eccles via Salford Quays, has served millions of passengers since the first phase of the line was officially opened in December 1999.

The work, which was undertaken within a full possession between Monday 4 April and Friday 29 April, included removing and replacing worn out sections of track assets, and the full reconstruction of the concrete track shoulders.

This work was the latest in a series of planned track renewals by TfGM across the network.

Chris Barnes, Head of projects group, at TfGM, said: “MPT are no stranger to Metrolink, having worked side-by-side with us on the expansion and maintenance of our network over many years, and their knowledge and experience has been instrumental in helping us to deliver the latest in a series of renewals to replace rails, which are now over 20 years-old.

“Over the past 10 years alone, the Eccles line has supported almost 40 million journeys – helping people get around the region and access jobs, education and leisure opportunities in a clean and sustainable way.

“The work MPT are doing with us now will be key to ensuring that we can continue to operate a safe and reliable service on the Eccles line for many years to come.”

Commenting, MPT senior project manager, Ged Geraghty, said: “We are delighted to have been able to continue our work with TfGM, and aid them in upgrading the Metrolink system. VolkerRail has vast light rail experience, and its teams who undertook this work were highly skilled, and very sensitive to the local communities need.

“We would like to thank passengers for their continued support as we renewed sections of the network on behalf of TfGM. We understand the difficulties faced when we have to close down parts of the network, but thanks to the efforts of TfGM and its replacement bus services, and our team’s dedication in ensuring work is completed as quickly as possible, we were able to hand this project back on time.”