The last train to Oldham Mumps ran on 3rd October 2009, since when commuters have had to rely on existing bus services to get to Manchester, albeit souped up with additional capacity. Thirty-two months later, on Wednesday this week, the first Metrolink tram operated in service on the converted railway alignment as far as a temporary station at Oldham Mumps – and 66 years since the last tram in the borough. There are seven intermediate stops on the line, at Monsall, Central Park, Newton Heath and Moston, Failsworth, Hollinwood, South Chadderton and Freehold; trams are every 12 minutes to Chorlton during the daytime; and you can win a year’s free travel by entering the TfGM prize draw.
If like me you’re desk-bound at the moment, the Manchester Evening News has a driver’s eye view of the Oldham line – though if you look closely enough, you’ll see it’s been filmed from the rear cab and then reversed in post-production! Expect the MEN to take a close interest in the service, as the Hollinwood stop is next-door to their offices – they’ll be even happier once the frequency is doubled to every 6 minutes when trams start operating through to Rochdale. When might that be? Through to Rochdale later this year, with the town centre extensions in Oldham and Rochdale by 2014.