Salford and Manchester
Lowry and Trams
1 April 2007
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With a couple of days off work in prospect, I began to investigate the possibility of a day out. "How do you fancy a trip up to 'The Lowry' in Manchester - we could take the train, and have a ride on the trams too. And perhaps have a nice lunch out..." After some investigation of timetables and fares, we decided to travel from Church Stretton - actually a few miles in the wrong direction, and a slightly higher fare than Shrewsbury (which was cancelled out by the free parking, conveniently close to the platform...). The fare from Telford would have been much higher - I'm not quite sure why. Our train - a well-filled two-car class 175 - pulled in and left on time. "Well-filled" became "packed" by the time we arrived, on time, in Manchester. "The Lowry" is part of the redevelopment of the former Salford quays, at the head of the Manchester Ship Canal. Lowry is one of those artists I guess we're all familiar with - it was good to see the original works exhibited in this amazing building. Not just "matchstalk men and dogs" either - some interesting seascapes and portraits ("man with red eyes...") too. And just opposite - lunch!
We had travelled from Piccadilly through to Harbour City tram stop - we returned by walking around the edge of Ontario Basin to Salford Quays, there joining the tram to Piccadilly Gardens. The tram service in question is part of the Eccles route, opened at the turn of the millennium. Unlike the converted heavy rail routes, it feels like a real tramway, with its tight curves and frequent changes of gradient - great fun! Returning to central Manchester, we walked to Victoria, a shadow of its former self, but still retaining its fine frontage and that famous map. The Metrolink trams scuttle in and out of Victoria at 90° to the former terminal platforms, through a somewhat odd-looking hole in the wall. And so back to Piccadilly for our return run to Shropshire - a three-car train this time, well packed. Once again, it ran to time throughout - just 1½ hours - far quicker than we could have driven. I can't help reflecting on the fare though - £18.40 each is hardly a "cheap" day return, especially for those that had to stand. It's "green" to leave the car at home - but it would have been much cheaper to take it... Links: Metrolink official website Metrolink lots of useful info on Wikipedia The Lowry
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
The Lowry Tram 1015, Ontario Basin Tram 2004 approaches Salford Quays tram stop Tram 1017 arrives at Piccadilly from Altrincham Tram 1014 at Piccadilly Gardens 1014 and 1017 at Piccadilly Gardens 1023 leaves Piccadilly Gardens with a Bury working 1023 swings round the junction at Piccadilly Gardens The L&Y map, Victoria Victoria station frontage Tram 1021 approaches Victoria Tram 1012 and the hole in the wall...