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Tram training takes to the tracks

Driver training is underway on the Trafford Park line marking another significant step towards the opening.

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Classroom sessions using the Tram-Pro simulator software have been taking place this week, ahead of the opening of the £350m line in April.

Each driver is required to undertake a full day of simulator training before they are given the chance to put their learning into action by test-driving trams up and down the new line.

Simulation training enables the drivers to familiarise themselves with the new line and sharpen their awareness of infrastructure such as signalling, stops and points while in a secure environment.

Chair of the Greater Manchester Transport Committee, Councillor Mark Aldred, said: “Driver training is a hugely important part of the opening of any new Metrolink line, developing the familiarity and awareness that enables services to run as smoothly and safely as possible from the moment the first tram departs.

“Once open, the Trafford Park line will significantly boost access to retail, employment and leisure opportunities within the area, which is home to Europe’s largest industrial estate and some of the region’s biggest visitor attractions.

“It will also offer people wishing to visit or commute to Trafford Park a more sustainable alternative to the car, helping us to cut congestion and improve air quality across the region.”

The next step will see the Disability Design Reference Group conduct a site visit to ensure the line and its infrastructure meet the highest accessibility standards possible.

Driver Ste Richardson said: “I really enjoyed the simulator training and the opportunity to learn a new line. It’s been great working with our driver training team and benefiting from their expert knowledge and experience.

“Getting out onto the Trafford Park line and putting the classroom training into practice has been exciting. I can’t wait to get started for real!”

The new line will have six new tram stops, offering sustainable transport links to some of Greater Manchester’s busiest visitor destinations including Old Trafford Football stadium, Imperial War Museum North, EventCity and intu Trafford Centre.

It will also run through Trafford Park, Europe’s largest trading estate and home to more than 1,300 businesses employing over 35,000 people.

The Trafford Park Line will add to what is already the biggest light rail network in the UK, bringing the total number of Metrolink stops to 99.

Contact Information

Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office

0161 244 1055

Notes to editors

  • The project has been delivered by TfGM, design and construction partner MPT – a consortium of Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Thales – with WSP as TfGM’s delivery partner.
  • Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the public body responsible for delivering Greater Manchester’s future transport strategy and commitments.
  • We also deliver a wide range of day-to day public transport and active travel services and projects to keep the city-region moving and growing.
  • With around six million journeys a day, we’re working hard to make travel easier through a better connected and well-informed Greater Manchester. To find out more about TfGM please visit