Transport

Exploding overhead lines at Brooklands – was this reason the trams were in chaos throughout the rush hour?

By Barbara Metcalfe at

Student Callum Leith from Sale, has described how overhead lines above his tram carriage exploded at lunchtime yesterday just as it was pulling out of Brooklands,

He and his friend Ryan Massicks were returning to Trafford College in Stretford at lunchtime time when sparks started to rain down around the tram bringing it to an abrupt halt.

They had just cleared the Marsland Road bridge on route to Sale when the incident happened causing a large explosion and the overhead line to hang down.

Passengers making their way back along the line to Brooklands platform

Passengers making their way back along the line to Brooklands platform

He and Ryan eventually broke the emergency lever to open the doors and walk back to the platform.  Other passengers just sat on the tram until they too decided to get off.

Said 16-year-old Callum: “It was pretty scary I suppose.  There was a huge bang and flash above my head and then sparks falling around us.  There was no sign of fire but there was a very strong smell of smoke.

“The guard asked over the intercom why we had used the emergency brake – he didn’t seem to know what was wrong.  No one was injured as far as I could see.

“After that there were no trams moving at all and we had to call college and say we couldn’t get there.”

Callum Leith, 16, was heading back to college when the incident happened

Callum Leith, 16, was heading back to college when the incident happened

Services on the Altrincham line were suspended yesterday afternoon because of an incident at Trafford Bar.  The disruption lasted throughout the rush hour and into the evening with commuters complaining bitterly via the Metrolink Twitter feed about the level of disruption.

Although the Metrolink announced trams were running through again on the line at just after 6 pm  – with a warning of severe delays – there were still people saying they had not reached their destinations up to two hours later.

Sale Today has asked Transport for Greater Manchester for a comment about the incident at Brooklands and whether it was connected to yesterday’s problem on the Altrincham line.  We will update this story when we have their comment.