Metrolink 65 Stations

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Cheshire Cat
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Metrolink 65 Stations

Post by Cheshire Cat » 06 Apr 2013, 13:18

With four extensions to Metrolink having opened in the last few months, including up to Rochdale, which makes a bus connection over to Bury feasible, it was high time I tackled this again. I finally made it on Thursday afternoon. It was worth doing, just to travel out to Droylesden. For years, we’ve watched the trams disappear from Piccadilly station into the depths of the undercroft, only to appear on the other platform. At last we can stay on and emerge out the other side. The stretch out to the Velodrome is fascinating: shoe-horned between buildings, under bridges, through cuttings, alongside road and rail and canal, it twists and turns and rises and falls like a roller coaster. In fact, sat at a signal waiting to drop down to the Etihad Campus stop, I felt like I was at the top of the Big Dipper at Blackpool. From the Velodrome to Droylsden, its old fashioned street running, but the lights seem to be cunningly programmed to keep the road completely clear in front of the tram. The stop at Droylesden in perched precipitously in the middle of a busy road, although there is a pedestrian.

It was on my way back into town I realised my big mistake: Commitments meant I was travelling later than originally intended and would miss the last service to Woodlands Rd. I could solve it by reversing the loop through Bury and Rochdale, but it put all my careful timings out.

I just want to put on record that I hate Rochdale! I’d travelled this way last summer, pottering about on a Wayfarer ticket. That time, with 3 buses to Rochdale all waiting on the stands at Bury, I managed to pick the one that left last, went the scenic route and didn’t call at the railway station. There were no signs from the town centre to the station (the only one I did find had been painted out!) and it felt distinctly sinister: there were drunks arguing in the town centre (at midday!) and I had a distinct feeling of being the wrong side of the tracks. It would be better this time though, right? At least I knew which bus to get. Well, looking for the right stand cost me a bus and when the next one came ten minutes later, the driver spent a long time arguing with another passenger over ticket validity. Finally, we were on our way, though, sitting at the front on the top deck (I’m just a big kid at heart and we don’t have double deckers down my way!) Highlight of the journey was passing a double decker which had had been turned into a hydroponics centre! The top deck had been partially de-roofed, the remaining section being converted into a greenhouse.

As we entered Rochdale, I partially recognised where I was. I expected the bus to turn off towards the station, but it didn’t and we became embroiled in the works for the next Metrolink extension. I judged (correctly) we were near the station and rang the bell, but the bus went quite a long way before stopping. I asked a passer-by for directions to the station, but he didn’t speak English too well and sent me the wrong way. I ended up in the middle of the town and had to follow the tram tracks back to the station. When the tram stop came in sight, there was one waiting, but it left before I could get there. By now I was over half an hour (i.e. 3 trams) down on schedule.

The Rochdale route is Metrolink’s answer to the Hainult loop, although that doesn’t really do it justice. The land isn’t simply rural, it is wild. It is rather surreal to see a tram winding in and out of rocky outcrops. I had planned to go to Eccles and MediaCity next, but as we went through the centre, I realised the tram I needed was in front of us. I hoped to swap at Deansgate, but as we left the street-running section, we were held at a signal to let the other one get ahead, so I stayed where I was and did St Werbergh’s Road first. The DMI there showed a 12 minute wait, so I thought I’d nip to the nearby shop. Unfortunately, the DMI lied and when I got back the tram had gone!

We seemed to keep stopping on the way to Eccles. As I arrived at MediaCity, the DMIs showed a 12 minute wait, which implied I’d just missed one. That couldn’t be right because I hadn’t seen one on my way from Broadway. The next one was shown as being 18 minutes after that, too. I hoped the DMI was lying again, but sadly, it wasn’t. As we returned to Cornbrook, we passed several trams, all of which were showing MediaCity, so I don’t know what was going on. There was a St Werbergh’s held at Cornbrook for several minutes, then an Eccles, but at last I was on my way down to Altrincham. Final time was 5:14:55, almost an hour later than planned, but just in time for my train home. Hopefully next time I’ll break the curse of Rochdale!
Metrolink 91 stations 6:27:01
FNC: 18:48:00

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RobbieM
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Re: Metrolink 65 Stations

Post by RobbieM » 06 Apr 2013, 16:21

Rochdale's got a very pretty town hall, though.
After you, madam - I'll wait for the next direct train to Mill Hill East.
(I really ought to change this; no-one understands it out of context.)
Personal record: 270 Stations in 9 minutes and 3 seconds

Cheshire Cat
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Re: Metrolink 65 Stations

Post by Cheshire Cat » 06 Apr 2013, 17:49

Granted. It's just a pity there isn't a signpost outside it.
Metrolink 91 stations 6:27:01
FNC: 18:48:00

palkanetoijala31

Re: Metrolink 65 Stations

Post by palkanetoijala31 » 07 Apr 2013, 09:23

i presume you live around the area any chance of attempting this with a master of the challenge sometime in the future?

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tractakid
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Re: Metrolink 65 Stations

Post by tractakid » 07 Apr 2013, 09:55

palkanetoijala31 wrote:i presume you live around the area any chance of attempting this with a master of the challenge sometime in the future?
I heard Geoff wasn't interested.
*insert boasting about notable tube accomplishments here*

palkanetoijala31

Re: Metrolink 65 Stations

Post by palkanetoijala31 » 07 Apr 2013, 10:03

tractakid wrote:
palkanetoijala31 wrote:i presume you live around the area any chance of attempting this with a master of the challenge sometime in the future?
I heard Geoff wasn't interested.
Read master of challenge topic Metrolink i seriously think that geoff has no interest in metrolink :D
i was asking chesire cat as i have a friend around that area and some time free on a weekend

Cheshire Cat
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Re: Metrolink 65 Stations

Post by Cheshire Cat » 07 Apr 2013, 12:33

I don't feel like a Master of anything, but yes, I do live reasonably close (Macclesfield) and would be very happy to meet up, subject to work, child care etc etc.

At present, it is not valid to do the challenge on a weekend, because Woodlands Rd is only open Monday - Friday, 10:00 - 16:00. It is likely to close at some point this year. Mosely St, which is southbound only, is also due to close this spring, which will make life easier.

Been poring over maps &C this morning. Route the bus took into Rochdale bears no relation to the one given in the timetable!
Metrolink 91 stations 6:27:01
FNC: 18:48:00

palkanetoijala31

Re: Metrolink 65 Stations

Post by palkanetoijala31 » 07 Apr 2013, 12:37

ah right but ok on a friday or a thursday though which is when i really like to give it a go never really done tram links befor emuch so be nice to try something i dont do often and as you are the closest to it you must be the master!

Cheshire Cat
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Re: Metrolink 65 Stations

Post by Cheshire Cat » 07 Apr 2013, 17:20

Yes, Thurs or Fri are fine (Thurs generally better for me).
Metrolink 91 stations 6:27:01
FNC: 18:48:00

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