Tram outages strand football fans and cause chaos across the city


Thousands of football fans faced being left stranded or forced to walk into the city center just to get home on Tuesday evening due to a tram fault.

And many others didn’t even make it to the match, which saw Manchester United take on Brighton, after their trams ground to a halt as they made their way to Old Trafford.

Transport for Greater Manchester confirmed that trams across the region would see changes or be completely suspended throughout Tuesday night due to an overhead line fault.

Shortly after, it was then announced that a ‘major power loss in the Trafford area’ was to blame for the disruption on various services.

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Issues across the network unfortunately hit less than an hour before the match was set to kick off, at around 7.30pm.

A total of three Metrolink lines, the Altrincham, MediaCity UK and East Didsbury lines, had their services completely suspended.

Three other lines also saw routes part suspended and saw changes to services – the Manchester Airport, Eccles and Trafford Park lines.

Travelers were told they could use their tickets and passes on various local services, but were urged to walk if possible after they were told they could have been busier than normal.

Shortly after the issues started, which meant some people were forced to walk along the tracks, it was announced it was unlikely services would be fully restored until at least Wednesday morning, February 16.

Some passengers said they had to walk along the tracks after their service grinded to a halt

Alex Cropper, Interim Head of Operations at TfGM, said: “First of all I would like to apologize to anyone whose journeys have been affected this evening.

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“Due to a major power loss caused by an overhead line fault between Trafford Bar and Old Trafford a significant number of Metrolink lines are currently suspended or partially suspended.

“Engineers are on site now to assess the situation and begin repairs, but the damage is quite extensive and as such Metrolink services are not likely to be restored this evening – and may still be affected tomorrow morning.

“For supporters leaving the Manchester United-Brighton fixture, there will be no Metrolink services operating after the match, bar a limited service between Wharfside and the Trafford Centre.

“Ticket acceptance is in place on commercial bus services, but they will be limited and extremely busy. If you’re going to the city center, please walk if you are able or hail a taxi if possible.”

Many took to Twitter to vent their anger at the drop in services, with some admitting they were forced to turn home on their way to the game.

Others expressed concern at how they would get home, as Greater Manchester Police also warned that roads and bus services would be busier than usual.

Various lines were either completely suspended or partly suspended due to the overhead line fault

One ticket holder, who asked to remain anonymous, told the MEN : “I was in between stops from Sale Water Park and Barlow Moor Road when the lights on the tram just went off.

“We came to a halt and I thought it was because of traffic -but we were there a good five or ten minutes.

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“Then this announcement came over the tram saying we’d need to get off. The driver said we’d be better walking.

“It was 7.40 at this point and I knew if I walked it I’d miss a good chunk of the game and the bus would get stuck in traffic if I could even find which one to get on.

“Instead I managed to get someone to meet me to take me home. I’m glad I came home as opposed to getting dropped at the match as there is no way I’d have gotten home afterwards.”

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Another tweeted: “How can I make my own way back to Altrincham? I am on my own with my two children and we are practically stranded.”

And a third traveler said their tram came to a sudden stop at Cornbrook and shared images of them walking along the side of the tracks before they ordered a taxi.

They added: “The driver announced there had been a signal fault and we then had to wait in the tram for around half an hour.

“They then proceeded to say we could walk on the tracks to Cornbrook. We had no other offers of taxis or alternative routes home. We all climbed down a ladder and walked along the side of the tracks to the stop, which wasn’t too far.

“Luckily I managed to get a taxi home.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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