Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said the Second City Crossing new tram line — the final piece in Manchester Metrolink’s £1.5 billion ‘big bang’ expansion programme — will open to passengers on Sunday, February 26.
The new line will offer new links and more frequent trams through Manchester city centre.
The new service will run from a new stop at St Peter’s Square along Cross Street to stops at Exchange Square and Victoria, and will allow more trams to run through the city centre and across the 93-stop network.
The Metrolink expansion programme has seen extensions to MediaCityUK, East Didsbury, Rochdale via Oldham, Ashton and Manchester Airport.
When the new line opens, Manchester Airport services will run to the city centre Deansgate-Castlefield stop and, later this year, will continue to Victoria.
Services that currently terminate at Deansgate-Castlefield and Exchange Square will continue across the city centre to Shaw and Crompton and East Didsbury.
The Second City Crossing is part of the transformational Grow project which is seeing major investment into Manchester city centre infrastructure improvements.
The first phase of the Second City Crossing opened from Victoria through to a new stop at Exchange Square in December 2015 and was fast-tracked thanks to the European Regional Development Fund.
“The return of passenger trams to this area of the city will be a historic day and the culmination of years of hard work,” said Peter Cushing, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director.
“I look forward to our customers right across the tram network experiencing the benefits.”
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “Not only will the Second City Crossing offer more trams through the city – on a more flexible, reliable tram network – but also a fantastic new view of historic Manchester landmarks such as the Royal Exchange and Manchester Town Hall.”