Second city crossing opens in Manchester

MANCHESTER Metrolink opened its Second City Crossing (2CC) on February 26, which doubles the capacity in the city centre by providing an extra route between Manchester Victoria and St Peter’s Square.

2CC runs via Exchange Square, which opened as a terminus from Victoria in December 2015, then along Cross Street to the town hall before turning left along Princess Street to St Peter’s Square.

Metrolink tram No. 3025 curves round from Princess Street on the 2CC route into St Peter’s Square on March 1 with a service from Rochdale to East Didsbury. The original route through the city via Piccadilly Gardens heads off to the right of the photo. PAUL BICKERDYKE

The line carries trams from Rochdale and Shaw & Crompton to East Didsbury, but there are plans for trams from the airport, which currently terminate at Deansgate-Castlefield, to run through to Victoria via 2CC.

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When Metrolink started running in 1992, the original route through the city via Piccadilly Gardens was meant to have enough capacity for future growth. However, the network has more than doubled in size since then to become the largest in the UK, meaning that the maximum capacity has been reached, and so construction of the 0.8 mile (1.3km) 2CC began in 2014.

More expansion of the network is underway, with construction of a 3.5-mile (5.5km) branch to Trafford Centre being built for a planned opening date in 2020.

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