Almost tripling the size of Manchester’s previous Metrolink tram network, a multi million pound scheme is underway, the key element of which is a design, construction and maintenance project being carried out by the M-Pact Thales consortium (MPT).
The project, geared to delivering a world-class tram system around Greater Manchester, is being undertaken by Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE), who appointed MPT to design, construct and maintain the new lines. The M-Pact Thales consortium brings together three industry leading companies: Laing O’Rourke, VolkerRail and Thales UK.
Four new lines – the South Manchester, East Manchester, Oldham and Rochdale and Airport Lines – will nearly double the size of the tram network with miles of new track and new Metrolink stops.
The South Manchester extension from Trafford Bar to St Werburgh’s Road line opened in July 2011. Three new stops have been built at Firswood, Chorlton and St Werburgh’s Road and a new depot facility at Trafford Bar has also been constructed to maintain and store new trams.
From St Werburgh’s Road, the line will continue to East Didsbury. The East Manchester Metrolink extension opens from Piccadilly to Droylsden in Tameside in summer 2012 and will be further extended to Ashton-under-Lyne by winter 2013/14.
The 14 mile (22.5 km) extension to Oldham and Rochdale leaves the Bury Metrolink line just outside the city centre and run along the abandoned railway corridor to Central Park in East Manchester. Here it joins the former Oldham loop rail line between Manchester, Oldham and Rochdale, which is being converted to Metrolink. Further extensions to Oldham and Rochdale town centre are also being constructed.
The 14.5km (9 miles) extension to Manchester Airport will leave the South Manchester Line after the St Werburgh’s Road stop in Chorlton and travel along Mauldeth Road West to Sale Water Park via Hardy Lane, creating a new route to the south. After crossing the M60, the line will travel via Northern Moor, Baguley and Wythenshawe to Manchester Airport,
Work on the extensions is well underway, with Laing O’Rourke and VolkerRail delivering the civil and rail infrastructure requirements. Thales UK are providing all the electrical systems and engineering works, including power and overhead line equipment, and the tram management system.
Mills Media is one of the leading aerial and ground photography businesses in the North West.
With many years of experience and an extensive portfolio, the creative production house has always been the go-to company for photographing major construction and development projects.
Since the early 1960’s, the company has been capturing diverse projects such as Wylfa Nuclear Power Station, the construction of the M53 motorway, the Hatfield Tunnel and Dinorwig Pump Storage Scheme amongst many others.
In 2011, the company remains at the leading edge and now uses helicopters for its aerial work. Mills Media offer comprehensive photographic and video surveys across the UK, for planning, marketing, publicity and investigation purposes.
Mills Media is currently working on the Manchester Metrolink project, having started aerial photography when the redevelopment work commenced on four new lines in 2010. The firm will be providing updated images of the various construction works on the network, which is one of the UK’s most successful light rail systems.
Other recent projects include aerial stills for the multi-million pound Salford Quays BBC Media City development – which has been in construction since 2007 – and the Grosvenor Liverpool One retail and leisure development, which included ground, aerial and time lapse progress photography for the duration of the construction between 2004 and 2009.
Mills Media’s client list features some of the UK’s major construction developers including Laing O’Rourke, Bovis Lend Lease and the M-Pact Thales consortium.
Managing director Andrew Mills said: “The ongoing Metrolink project is very exciting and a massive scale job, increasing the network from 37 to 97 kilometres. As such we’ve photographed many parts of Greater Manchester and we’re delighted to be recording a major part of the city’s history.
“We enjoy working closely with our clients and believe our passion for photography is evident in our extensive online library. For large development projects, aerial and ground photographs are an essential way of recording the scale and speed of construction, both for clients’ private use and for public record.”