Tram-trains plan on track for Glossop line

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Councillors have backed plans to develop a tram-train route from Glossop to Manchester by 2020.

The line is one of six proposed in a report approved by members of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.

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The £650 million strategy outlines a network of specially-designed vehicles, which would run on both street tracks and sharing tracks with other trains on railway lines.

Other destinations that could be linked by the region’s first tram-train line include Marple, Bredbury, Atherton, Wigan, Sale, Altrincham, Hale, Knutsford, East Didsbury, Hazel Grove and Stockport.

The Glossop-Manchester route, which would form part of phase two of the plans, would require working with Network Rail to remodel track in the Ashburys area.

It is estimated that the estimated capital cost would be £210 million and once up and running, there would be five tram-trains running per hour.

A spokesman for Friends of Glossop Station said: “We are wary of this scheme as a way forward for the Glossop Line for a number of reasons.

“The Glossop line is already served by clean, comfortable three-coach Class 323 electric units with seats for 284 passengers. At peak times, passengers joining from Godley onwards may struggle to get a seat.

“Passenger numbers continue to rise – use of Glossop Station alone totalled 765,364 in 2012.

“Along with Hadfield and Dinting well over a million passengers now use these three Derbyshire stations.

“In their own analyses Transport for Greater Manchester recognize that use of tram-train vehicles would significantly increase overcrowding and they also note that economic / social costings are only medium compared to converting the Marple Line – phase one.”