The first test tram has traversed the Trafford Park line track, capping a landmark week for the £350m Metrolink extension project.

Travelling along Trafford Wharf Road between the Pomona Metrolink stop and Warren Bruce Road overnight on Sunday, November 10, the short journey kick-started an extensive safety and testing process that will start with the development of signalling and control systems.

A team of engineers accompanied the tram and carried out essential safety checks as it travelled at walking speed.

Testing is expected to last over several months before driver training can take place ahead of the line opening in the first half of 2020.

Earlier in the week, contractors completed the final piece of track construction work outside of ITV studios, while Trafford Wharf Road and Village Way have now reverted to two-way operation following two-and-a-half years of traffic restrictions.

Greater Manchester Transport Committee Chair, Coun Mark Aldred, said: “The development of the Trafford Park line is excellent news for Greater Manchester, and I’m delighted to see it progressing with the start of tram testing.

“When the line opens next year, it will provide a major boost to regional regeneration and economic growth by improving access to the large amount of retail, leisure, business and employment opportunities that exist in Trafford Park.

“It will also help towards reducing congestion and tackling air quality as we give people another, more environmentally-friendly alternative to the car.”

The Trafford Park Line is due to open in the first half of 2020. There will be six new stops throughout Trafford Park, as far as intu Trafford Centre

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Head of Metrolink, Danny Vaughan, added: “Last week we poured the final bit of concrete, all but marking the end of construction, and this week we’ve undertaken the first tram testing.

“This is another significant moment on our journey towards completion, as our focus now turns to the safety critical signalling systems and driver training."

“We’ve still got quite some way to go, but things are progressing very well and people can expect to start seeing a few more trams running up and down the line over the coming weeks and months ahead of the line opening in the first half of 2020.

“None of this would be possible without the work of our partners, including contractor M-Pact Thales (MPT) and the operator KeolisAmey Metrolink, and my thanks go to all those involved.”