Rochdale’s new town centre Metrolink line will open to passengers on Monday 31 March, subject to final testing.
The final stage will start on Thursday 27 March and will see trams running along the route every 12 minutes but out of service, to complete the commissioning of the new infrastructure.
The first in-service tram to leave the new Smith Street stop will depart on the Monday at 5.53am.
The opening of the new line goes hand-in-hand with a multi-million pound regeneration of the town centre that will completely re-shape the Rochdale skyline.
Metrolink passengers will have direct access to local bus services calling at the new state-of-the-art Rochdale Interchange just across the road from the town centre stop while work to remove the former bus station is already well underway.
The new town centre tram stop is directly opposite Number One Riverside – Rochdale’s iconic new library, customer service centre and council offices – and will provide excellent transport links to job and leisure opportunities.
Councillor Andrew Fender Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Rochdale town centre is a fantastic new destination for Metrolink passengers and the latest piece in the expansion of the network.
“This new line takes people right into the heart of the town centre at a time when really exciting changes are being made. Metrolink is going hand in hand with the transformation of the area and it’s a great thing to be part of.”
Leader of Rochdale Council, Colin Lambert, said: “The opening of the Metrolink in Rochdale is another huge step forward in the regeneration of Rochdale town centre.
“Along with the proposed £100m retail and family leisure facility and our unrivalled heritage offer it will help turn Rochdale into a popular destination for visitors and better connect us to the rest of the region.”
The town centre line will bring the size of the current Metrolink network to 48.5 miles (78km), serving 77 stops.