Metrolink time capsule preserves a snapshot of today for tomorrow


A time capsule buried near the new-look St Peter’s Square Metrolink stop will give future generations a glimpse of Greater Manchester in 2016.

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A time capsule buried near the new-look St Peter’s Square Metrolink stop will give future generations a glimpse of Greater Manchester in 2016.


As work draws to a close on the new Metrolink Second City Crossing – and the major redevelopment of St Peter’s Square – Manchester icons have come together to preserve a piece of today to create memories for tomorrow.


A specially engraved paving slab with a tram and time themed design, inspired by local school pupils, will mark the burial site outside Central Library.


Local newspapers will nestle alongside theatre programmes, photographs and local sporting memorabilia in the time capsule, together with a unique 3D printed bespoke sculpture inspired by the Metrolink Second City Crossing and especially composed pieces of music.


Representatives of Transport for Greater Manchester, Manchester City Council and Metrolink contractor M-Pact Thales (MPT) joined local schoolchildren and contributing organisations to bury the time capsule today.


Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “Metrolink is a just one among many Manchester icons and this time capsule really does capture a snapshot of the city at the beginning of the 21st century.


“We don’t know how future generations will be travelling, but however they get from A to B, I’m sure they’ll find all the items we’ve preserved in this historic Manchester square fascinating.”


Metrolink Director Peter Cushing said: “The Second City Crossing is just part of a wider multi-million pound transport package that heralds a major period of growth for the city region and the North.


“It’s great to freeze this moment in time for future generations at this pivotal point in time for city region.”


Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “I love the idea that a time capsule freezes a moment in time for future generations and it will be a timely reminder, when the capsule is prised open, of how much Manchester has changed.


“St Peter’s Square will no doubt be a key public space in the years to come and documenting its transformation now will be a fascinating insight for future Mancunians.”


Sarah Barnes, MPT’s Senior Environmental Advisor said: “Our design and construction team thoroughly enjoyed working in partnership with local schools on the time-capsule project.


“The creativity and imagination of the pupils can be seen in the design of the specially engraved paving slab. We hope that the time capsule provides a legacy for the people of Manchester long after the construction is complete.”


The first test-trams ran along the new Metrolink Second City Crossing last week, marking the start of a testing and commissioning programme before services open to passengers in early 2017.


The new line, through the heart of Manchester city centre, will allow Metrolink to run more frequent tram services through the city centre and across the 93-stop network.


It will also allow greater operational flexibility and improve service reliability by offering a second route through the city, connecting the expanded St Peter’s Square stop with Exchange Square and Victoria Station via Princess Street and Cross Street.


Organisations who have donated to the time capsule and electronic archive of contents on record at Manchester Central Library include the Bridgewater Hall, BBC, Central Library, Chetham’s Music School, ITV, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Latz, MPT, Manchester Evening News, Manchester City FC, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester United FC, Marketing Manchester, The Midland, MOSI, Royal Exchange, TfGM and The Whitworth.