Thales celebrates launch of new Greater Manchester’s Metrolink line

Posted: 10 October 2013 | Thales | No comments yet

“The tramway provides a sustainable transport alternative for increasing numbers…”


Thales has joined its client Transport for Greater Manchester in celebrating the launch of the Metrolink tram passenger service extension to Ashton-under-Lyne from Droylsden in Tameside. The extension has been delivered several months ahead of schedule, bringing the total size of the current Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network to 47.7 miles (76.8km), serving 73 stops. Thales has played a key role in the rollout of the project over the past five years.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) selected Thales’s Tram Management System as the successful solution for the design, build, installation, verification and validation for what is now officially the largest over ground light rail system in operation in the UK, with four new lines tripling the size of the original network. Thales provides a fully-integrated tramway management, control and communication system that enables operational staff to manage all aspects of the tramway safely, efficiently and quickly.

Alistair McPhee, Vice President of Ground Transportation Systems (GTS) at Thales UK said, “Thales UK welcomes this opportunity to celebrate the ongoing delivery of Greater Manchester’s Metrolink programme. The tramway provides a sustainable transport alternative for increasing numbers of commuters and families living in and around Greater Manchester who all enjoy the benefits of using the largest light rail system in operation in the UK.”

Martin Murphy, Programme Director for Manchester Metrolink at Thales UK said, “The launch of the extension of the line to Ashton-under-Lyne follows a year of successful delivery by the Thales team which has included service extensions to East Manchester, Rochdale, and East Didsbury and the migration to the new Network Management Centre. This delivery performance has been complemented by improvements in the final product quality.”

Greater Manchester’s Metrolink project is expected to take five million car journeys off local roads every year and to increase the number of trips passengers make on the network each day from 55,000 to over 90,000.

This excellent performance was recognised at the 2013 Light Rail Awards held at the Honourable Artillery Company in London on 2nd October 2013. Thales’s contribution to the Metrolink programme was recognised in three categories:

  • The M-Pact Thales (MPT) consortium was named European Supplier of the Year
  • Greater Manchester’s Metrolink was awarded UK Light Rail Project of the Year
  • The Metrolink operator RATP won Operator of the Year

Martin Murphy said, “These prestigious industry accolades reflect the excellent delivery record that Thales has demonstrated over the last 2 years. It is an accolade that all the team should be highly proud of and I congratulate our staff and delivery partners for their achievement. It demonstrates our capability of delivering complex systems within both challenging ‘live’ brown and green field sites in a multi-stakeholder environment”.