Metrolink Challenge

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Cheshire Cat
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Metrolink Challenge

Post by Cheshire Cat » 27 Oct 2011, 22:06

Looking through the list of non-UL challenges, there seems to be a notable exception. No sign of Manchester. It being on my doorstep, I decided to try and rectify this yesterday, Bury start, Altrincham finish. What started out as an attempt to do the full Metrolink network quickly turned into a simple recce, partly because circumstances dictated I parked in Altrincham, which meant I would have had to travel up to Bury just to come all the way back again and partly because the area where the South Manchester and Eccles branches diverge from the Altrincham one deserved a good look to see if there are any viable on-foot options. On paper, the quickest route at present seems to be to do out-and back on both Eccles & St Werburghs, but the three branches are tantalisingly close as far as their first stations. Surely there had to be a better way?

Salford Quays is very reminiscent of Docklands, with Metrolink taking a rollercoaster ride across and between the docks. The Ship and Bridgewater canals run side by side here, with Pomona station between them. I could see it, but dual carriageways, waterways and chainlink fences proved impenetrable barriers. Even when I passed through the station on the tram, I still couldn’t see how to access it from the outside world! And so to MediaCity, to suss out the on foot connection to Broadway or Harbour City. What was the point of building this branch? The three stations are so close you can stand on the corner and see them all! I retraced my steps to Cornbrook, with half a mind to go at least some way down St Werberghs, but there was an Altrincham on platform as I arrived, which was too big a temptation, particularly given that the platform indicators are not yet working.

So I shall leave the challenge for a day when I am able to get the train into Piccadilly from home. I don’t know when I’ll be able to do it, but I shall of course report on here when I do. I still reckon there are some interesting on foot/bus options for someone fitter than me. Of course, once the Rochdale and Droylesden lines open next year, the challenge becomes much more fun!
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The Raven
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by The Raven » 25 Nov 2011, 21:44

I'm off to Manchester on Saturday to do the challenge! Lets see how long it takes! :D
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by tubeguru » 25 Nov 2011, 22:05

It takes about two and a quarter hours from Euston.
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Cheshire Cat
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by Cheshire Cat » 25 Nov 2011, 23:19

I'll be interested to hear how you get on. On paper, I have it worked out at 2h36.
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by The Raven » 26 Nov 2011, 15:19

Cheshire Cat wrote:I'll be interested to hear how you get on. On paper, I have it worked out at 2h36.
Just done it in real life in 2h:25m:50s! More details coming soon!
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by The Raven » 26 Nov 2011, 20:46

My Route
Bury :arrow: Piccadilly :arrow: Eccles :arrow: Broadway :arrow: Run :arrow: Mediacityuk :arrow: Cornbrook :arrow: Trafford Bar :arrow: St Werburgh's Road :arrow: Firswood :arrow: Run :arrow: Old Trafford :arrow: Altrincham

Two bad things about my route:
1. I had to fight my way through all the Man U supporters. I completely forgot about the football!
2. Also very windy and raining today

Though Woodlanes Road is closed on a Saturday, I ended up being stopped by a red light there anyway!
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al
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by al » 26 Nov 2011, 21:04

The Raven wrote: Though Woodlanes Road is closed on a Saturday, I ended up being stopped by a red light there anyway!
Surely that makes the attempt null and void? :wink: :twisted:
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by Cheshire Cat » 26 Nov 2011, 21:52

The Raven wrote:My Route
Bury :arrow: Piccadilly :arrow: Eccles :arrow: Broadway :arrow: Run :arrow: Mediacityuk :arrow: Cornbrook :arrow: Trafford Bar :arrow: St Werburgh's Road :arrow: Firswood :arrow: Run :arrow: Old Trafford :arrow: Altrincham

Two bad things about my route:
1. I had to fight my way through all the Man U supporters. I completely forgot about the football!
2. Also very windy and raining today

Though Woodlanes Road is closed on a Saturday, I ended up being stopped by a red light there anyway!
That was my paper route too, apart from running from Harbour City to Media City. Six and two threes, seeing as they are virtually within sight of each other! Well done, anyway.
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by The Raven » 26 Nov 2011, 22:09

al wrote:
The Raven wrote: Though Woodlanes Road is closed on a Saturday, I ended up being stopped by a red light there anyway!
Surely that makes the attempt null and void? :wink: :twisted:
Yep! But its a bit like Cannon Street. I still went through it though! But there's no record, if someone does the challenge on Monday to Friday between 10am - 4pm then they're welcome to it!
Last edited by The Raven on 26 Nov 2011, 23:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Sam
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by Sam » 26 Nov 2011, 22:22

A bit like where? :?
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by The Raven » 26 Nov 2011, 23:08

Sam wrote:A bit like where? :?
A bit like what? :wink: :wink: :wink: [Edited]
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by The Raven » 02 Feb 2012, 17:31

Had another go at the challenge today and recorded a 2h37m15s which is slower but I did stop at Woodlands Park, unlike last time. Details to follow!

Same route as before though I did suffer from "Watford Syndrome" as at both Cornbrook and St Werburgh's Road stations, trains in the opposite platform left 5 second before the train I was on, arrived. Oh, well

Must do the Metrolink again in a couple of years time when the system has been expanded.

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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by Iain » 02 Feb 2012, 22:52

lol at Watford syndrome :D
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by Cheshire Cat » 11 Feb 2012, 19:53

At long last I managed to have a go at this today. It being Saturday, Woodlands Rd was closed. Route: Bury :arrow: Piccadilly :arrow: Media City UK :arrow: on foot to Broadway :arrow: Eccles :arrow: Cornbrook :arrow: St Werbergh’s Rd :arrow: Firswood :arrow: on foot to Old Trafford :arrow: Altrincham.

First few connections went well. Two minute waits at Piccadilly, Broadway and Eccles, and the first tram in was the right one at both Piccadilly and Cornbrook, eliminating a couple of changes. By the time I got to St Werbergh’s Rd, I was 13 minutes (i.e. a whole tram) ahead of schedule, at which point things began to unravel a little. Schedule showed an 8 minute wait, platform display showed 9 mins (Incidentally, this seems to be the only line where these are working so far), but I actually had to wait 11 minutes, to give the driver time to polish his shoes! :evil: As I trotted down Warwick Rd, I began to meet departing Man United fans. I just missed a tram at Old Trafford, but wouldn’t have got on it anyway because there were several fans left behind as it was. Next one was crush loaded before it even arrived. “Don’t try to get on it, there’s an empty one just behind,” said the platform staff. I was a bit cynical about this, but lo and behold another tram appeared one minute later, presumably having worked ECS from nearby Trafford Bar depot. A bit of a wait while they loaded it to the gunwales and at last we were off. Total time 2h38.

As a postscript, a mixture of bad judgement and bad luck gave me an awful journey home: managed to catch a bus which took the scenic route from Altrincham to Stockport and then hit a 45 minute gap in train services home. The return home ended up taking as long as the challenge had! Must have another go at this on a non-match day and see if I can shave a few minutes off it, although like the Raven, I may wait until some of the extensions open.

Notes to self for next time:
1) Do it on a weekday (both to grab Woodlands Rd and avoid the football!)
2) Plan my return journey :oops:
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Re: Metrolink Challenge

Post by The Raven » 12 Feb 2012, 11:14

Well done Cheshire Cat. They do seem to be adding departure broads....

With all the extensions they seem to be adding in the next couple years, it might be possible to a random 15 challenge on Metrolink in the not too distant future.
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