Almost four years on we look back at a distinctive Manchester tram stop within a landscaped park setting that boasts a ‘living wall’ of plants and wildflowers surrounded by extensive landscaping, offering a calm and peaceful environment for passengers who are waiting for the tram.

Seeing Green

Back in 2015, Metrolink completely transformed the Deansgate-Castlefield station brightening up the daily commute for tram passengers in Manchester. The new-look stop offers a pleasing, modern gateway to the south of the city. With trees, a ‘living wall’ and sedum panels teeming with wildflowers between the tram tracks, it’s an oasis right in the heart of Manchester. Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said at the time: “The stop is looking fantastic – not just the new platforms but the modernised Exhibition Bridge to the train station, which you’d hardly recognise from the ageing tunnel bridge it replaced.” Coun Fender added: “The stop really does have a unique green look and I’m sure the thousands of people using it every day will appreciate the many small touches that make it an oasis in the city.”

The project brief required improved access to the Deansgate-Castlefield tram stop and the introduction of a new track and platform arrangement to improve passenger capacity.

Green Paving

As part of the major revamp Metrolink built two new platforms at the stop, finished with Burlington Westmoreland Green paving, Burlington Broughton Moor edgings, copings and cladding and Royal White granite tactile accessories, all supplied by Hardscape. Two huge passenger shelters cast shadows of leaves on to the platforms, which are surrounded by extensive landscaping.

The stop also has a new line of track and a completely new track layout, which is a crucial part of the transformational Second City Crossing work to get more trams through the city. These track changes have given us more flexibility, helping make services more reliable and providing a turn back for trams during the work at St Peter’s Square.

Thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the existing footbridge linking the stop with Deansgate Railway station has been fully refurbished with a modern glazed finish. Two brand new sets of steps are located at both ends of the stop providing access to the street below and a new passenger lift next to the Deansgate ‘living wall’ is now open also.

Client: TFGM; Architects: Simpson Haugh; Landscape Architects: Landscape Projects; Contractors: Laing O’Rourke and Vetter UK Ltd; Paving materials supplier: Hardscape