The award winning Manchester Metrolink has recently completed a £1.5bn expansion – but the UK’s largest light rail network has grown even further with Phase 3. This final part of the project will extend the Metrolink to more than 106.5km (66 miles) ending at Trafford Park.The specialist concrete cutting services of Holemasters has been utilised by MPT (a joint venture of VolkerRail and Laing O’Rourke) for a number of years on this Phase 3.

This part of the project will run from the existing Pomona stop near Salford Quays through Trafford Park, via Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium and the Imperial War Museum North, before eventually terminating at the Trafford Centre.

In August 2018, in preparation of this extension, Holemasters carried out the cutting of the existing concrete track plinths at Pomona Junction during an extended possession of the Manchester Metrolink Eccles line.

Barry Flutter, project manager at Laing O’Rourke said: “It was evident Holemasters had considered the scope carefully and in preparation carried out several trials in advance of the possession to minimise risk.  This ensured the best concrete cutting technique was adopted right from the start of this time critical possession.  Holemasters continued to improve its methodology and performance during the possession, and ultimately delivered the works almost ten hours ahead of schedule.

“Overall the blockade was delivered successfully and without incident thanks to the collaborative effort from the competent and experienced team.”

Danny Frain, contracts manager for Holemasters said; “Our team of operatives worked alongside MPT to coordinate the works in the safest possible manner, whilst not effecting performance. In the months leading up to the start of the project we looked at several alternative methods of completing the concrete cutting.  However, experience tells us that you can only fully comprehend what is required when on site. After just one day it became clear that the layout of the track gave us more space than we first thought.  Our bespoke method of operation therefore gave us the flexibility to change the method and order in which the plinths were cut in order to maximise the potential of the wire saws. This improved cutting time which in turn increased production.

“I am lucky to have a fantastic team of lads with which to work. When goals are set they dig deep and work tirelessly to achieve them to show that Holemasters can complete the job on time or better.”