Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

Depot for extra trams takes shape

Tram depot
The last building on the site was derelict for more than a decade

Work has started on a big new depot for Manchester's extra trams.

The new depot will have room for 32 trams and will cover an area the size of ten football pitches.

The last building on the site, a former bakery and packaging company, has been demolished. The 1960s warehouse had been derelict for than 10 years.

The 575m expansion of the tram network over an extra 20 miles, which was approved last year, will see it nearly double in size.

'Ideal' site

The new Metrolink lines to Oldham and Rochdale, Droylsden, Chorlton and MediaCityUK in Salford Quays will cover nearly 20 miles and include 27 stops.

Philip Purdy, Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive's (GMPTE) Metrolink director, said: "I'm pleased that work to clear the way for the new depot in Old Trafford has now been completed with the demolition of the last derelict building on the site.

"The site of the depot is ideal as it's sandwiched between the tram line to Altrincham and the new line to Chorlton in South Manchester.

"We're also planning to expand our original depot in North Manchester to house some of the new trams."

The new lines will open in stages between next year and 2012.

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