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What is the Second City Crossing?

The 1.3km Second City Crossing is a brand new Metrolink line through the heart of Manchester city centre. It’s the final piece in a £1.5bn expansion of the tram network, which now offers 93 stops, with over 60 miles of track and carries a record-breaking 37 million passengers a year. The Second City Crossing offers offer new links and more frequent trams through Manchester city centre, as well as improved service reliability and greater operational flexibility. The line runs through the St Peter’s Square and Exchange Square tram stops to Exchange Square and Victoria Station.

Where does the Second City Crossing run?

The new line starts at Lower Mosley Street and trams continues through St Peter’s Square, before turning down Princess Street. Services then head along Cross Street and Corporation Street, calling at the new Exchange Square stop before continuing to the Victoria stop.

Which services run on the Second City Crossing?

The East Didsbury – Shaw & Crompton – Rochdale service is now running on this new line, serving Victoria, Exchange Square and St Peter’s Square stops. And later this year, the Manchester Airport line service will run on the new line through to Victoria Station.

How did you choose the new service patterns?

Many factors were taken into consideration when planning the best possible service pattern, to balance operational performance with customer demand to travel. In planning these service patterns we've made sure we continue to run high frequency services to major city centre employment areas, and continue to target passenger demand along each route.

We’ve also maintained quick and easy connections – you can travel anywhere on the 93-stop network with just one change of tram. A full report on the proposals can be found online at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority website here. We constantly monitor the network and are, and will continue to be, responsive to changes in travel demands.

Will the service patterns change again in the future?

The current service patterns have been planned with the future expansion to the Trafford Centre in mind. We want to make sure to ensure the future tram network takes into account current and predicted patronage growth and will, wherever necessary, make changes to improve the customer experience. As such we will continue to monitor and tailor service patterns now the Second City Crossing is open.

Where are double trams running?

Double trams continue to operate on the Altrincham, Bury and East Didsbury services. We will continue to monitor and tailor services to ensure the network continues to meet customer demand.  There may be some changes to where we run double or single trams, when our region’s premier league football teams are playing at home, or major events take place across the city. Any changes will be communicated in advance at

Have first and last tram times changed now the Second City Crossing is open?

There have been some changes now the Second City Crossing is open, but services continue to operate within the standard hours/days/frequencies.

You can see the latest service times here.

Why do some tram services change for events?

We are able to make short-term changes to services for major events such as such as football matches, Parklife, concerts and the Manchester Marathon. These changes help to minimise disruption across the network for all commuters and visitors when we expect thousands more people to be using services.

When will the Manchester Airport line service run through to Victoria?

The Manchester Airport line service will run through to Victoria upon completion of tram management system works there. TfGM is working closely with the contractor to complete the work as soon as possible.

Why do both East Didsbury line services have to run on the Second City Crossing?

Both East Didsbury line services need to run on the same line through the city centre to keep service frequencies, as one line is longer than the other. Splitting them would create an imbalance in journey times and, in turn, headways and service patterns along the line. However, with more trams running through the city centre it will be quicker and easier than ever before to change on to another tram to get to your destination. 

What about direct links between Rochdale, Oldham and Piccadilly?

When considering service patterns we seek to ensure best connectivity, efficiency and value for money, because Metrolink fares go straight back into running, maintaining and improving the network. We have recently committed to carrying out further work, including a line survey and a network-wide modelling exercise to determine the full impact of introducing a direct service between Rochdale, Oldham and Manchester Piccadilly. This will also consider the impact of removing an already established connection, which we would have to do in order to accommodate this.

How can I find out more?

To find out more about Metrolink services please follow us on Twitter @MCRMetrolink or visit

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