Trams Return to Ashton After 75 Years

Metrolink set to reach Ashton-under-Lyne and Audenshaw next month

Ashton-under-Lyne tram testing (2)
Seen on test earlier this month, the Flexity Swift M5000 trams which will soon be a regular feature in Ashton.

From the 9th October this year, Ashton-under-Lyne will be connected to the Metrolink system, bridging a 75 year gap since its last tram left. The new service will offer Tameside residents another way in to Manchester, being an alternative to packed rail services to Manchester Victoria.

Besides being one of three ways of getting to Manchester for Ashtonians, the trams will offer a faster way to Audenshaw and Droylsden (especially so in the peak hours). For passengers unable to get to Ashton Moss on public transport, another fast and frequent way to see the latest films. Or a quick way of getting to Marks and Spencer or Sainsburys.

Though journey times are expected to be slower than the ten minutes from Ashton-under-Lyne [Charlestown] station to Manchester Victoria, it will save passengers from having to change there for trains from Manchester Piccadilly. In the peaks, it will be a faster alternative to the 216 route, caught up in the school run. It will offer a direct route to the Etihad Stadium, which is likely to be a popular move among those of the sky blue persuasion.

From Ashton-under-Lyne, it will stop at Ashton West (ideal for Cineworld or watching Curzon Ashton FC). Ashton Moss, the next stop, will include Park and Ride facilities and will be ideally placed for the Ashton Park Garden Centre, Travelodge and The Sheldon Arms public house. From Oldham Road junction, it will run along the Lord Sheldon Way bypass.

At Audenshaw, the new station would be suitably placed for Ryecroft Hall and the local shops nearby. Along Manchester Road, it will meet up with the Droylsden to Manchester Piccadilly line which opened this February.

From next month, trams will operate every 12 minutes with a 15 minute frequency on Sunday and Bank Holiday evenings. At this moment, services will continue from Ashton-under-Lyne and Droylsden to Bury via Piccadilly and Victoria stations.

Ashton-under-Lyne tram testing (1)
Tramtastic! In a month’s time, these fellows will be whisking us off to Bury, Manchester or the Etihad Campus. Hopefully, they’ll be some people wishing to use Ashton’s new trams for a visit to IKEA or the town’s famous market hall.

S.V., 11 September 2013.


2 thoughts on “Trams Return to Ashton After 75 Years

Add yours

    1. Me too, Trystan,

      A good antidote to the traffic clogged 216, especially when Manchester City are at home or when Bon Jovi’s got another concert. It’ll succeed as a fast link to the Etihad, though I think some people may continue to catch the 216 for reasons of economy.

      Bye for now,



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