San Francisco cable car ‘big’ 19 on a test run. (Muni
The UK’s largest light rail network has 99 stops across 64 miles of track - more than 700 million journeys have been made on the trams since its opening in 1992. 
The £21.4m funding – from the government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) – will ensure the network keeps on delivering safe, reliable and accessible services for millions more people into the future. 
Approved by the Bee Network committee on Thursday, the work is part of a planned £147m package to maintain, upgrade and improve the network up to 2027. 
Immediate priorities for this summer include track replacement in several parts of the city centre, including Piccadilly Gardens and London Road, and on parts of the Altrincham and Bury Lines. This will mean quicker, smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers. 
Plans also include a programme of modifications to the trams themselves, installing state-of-the art systems to keep passengers safe. These include sensors in the middle of double trams and speed warning devices. 
New electrical substations are being added along parts of the Bury Line, providing additional power so that more doubles trams run in future. 
Metrolink is also replacing much of the communications network critical to the operation of its signalling and control systems as well as investigating the replacement of overhead lines on some of the older parts of the network. 
Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: "Metrolink is an integral part of the Bee Network, and it’s really important that we invest in it so that we can continue to provide a safe, reliable and positive experience for the thousands of people who travel with us every day. 
“This is a coordinated package of planned works to maintain, renew and improve the network and help to keep Greater Manchester moving, and while we understand any disruption can be frustrating, we’ll be doing everything we can to keep it to a minimum. 
“We will make sure passengers know what’s happening well in advance and I’d ask people to please bear with us while the works are carried out, as the benefits will be there to be enjoyed for years to come." 
More than £20m will be invested to improve the Metrolink network over the next 12 months, to ensure services remain safe and reliable for years to come. (Metrolink) 
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