The MPT Consortium, formed of VolkerRail, Laing O'Rourke and Thales, and tasked by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) with delivering the £900m expansion programme for the Manchester Metrolink network, has been named UK Project of the Year and Supplier of the Year (over €10m) at the 2013 International Light Rail Awards.
The contract is part of a £1.5bn programme to modernise and enhance Metrolink by 2016. Work is well on track across the city, with the latest section, between East Droylsden and Ashton-under-Lyne, opening to passengers this week, several weeks ahead of schedule, bringing the network size to cover almost 50 miles, serving 73 stops.
The judges' comments included: "Nobody should underestimate the scale of the project to extend Manchester Metrolink so dramatically and in such a relatively short space of time. Integrating further new vehicles, so many new lines and a new depot and control centre, while maintaining consistent services is an epic achievement. This is a perfect example of client, contractor and operator in harmony - one big, close-knit family that is helping to deliver the largest light rail expansion project in the UK. This is a true flagship project for the country."
MPT and TfGM were also highly commended in the Environmental Initiative Award, for their work on the Mersey Valley viaduct.
Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said: "We are immensely proud that the industry has recognised the expansion as a positive example of delivering an ambitious, large-scale project that will make a genuine difference to Greater Manchester, its people and its economy."
MPT project director, Bryan Diggins, said: "Mile after mile of new tramway has been constructed along with 55 new tram stops, several new bridges built, and 180 existing structures refurbished. Two million hours have twice been recorded without a single reportable accident. Our fantastic team are proud of what they do, and to be acknowledged by the light rail industry for their outstanding achievements is a terrific accolade. These awards recognise the great work they do in working towards delivering a truly world class transportation network for the Greater Manchester community."
The International Light Rail Awards celebrate the latest developments and achievements in worldwide transit systems.