The Halfway route runs from the city centre southeast into the Mosborough Townships at Halfway, a postwar residential area. There is also a short branch to Herdings Park, an area of high-rise flats.
The route is mainly street running with sections of reserved right-of-way from Fitzalan Square stop to Park Grange Croft stop and through the Mosborough Townships.
Trams run every ten minutes from Halfway through the city and on to Malin Bridge (Blue Line) and every half-hour from Herdings Park to the city (Purple Line) giving a combined frequency of 8 trams per hour between Gleadless and the city. Between 0900–1420 (Mon–Fri), 0900–1820 (Saturday) and 1030–1745 (Sunday) Purple Line trams run to and from Meadowhall by reversing at Cathedral stop. At peak times a handful of trams also run direct between Sheffield Station and Hyde Park, along the third side of the triangle junction at Park Square.
The city centre section is described in the Middlewood page. Trams travel through the city centre to Fitzalan Square Ponds Forge stop, next to Ponds Forge International Sports Centre. From here the tram line crosses to the centre of the large Park Square roundabout on a steel bowstring arch bridge. In the centre of the roundabout is a triangle junction—trams go left for Meadowhall and right for Halfway and Herdings Park.
After the triangle junction, the line runs on a section of reserved track next to the mainline railway station, and there is a tram stop next to the 'back entrance' to the station which also serves Sheffield Hallam University and the Grade 2* listed Park Hill flats overlooking the station.
There is a very short section of street running, on which is the citybound platform of Granville Road/The Sheffield College stop, then the line becomes reserved track again for the Halfway-bound platform at Granville Road.
After Granville Street the line starts its ascent up into the hills above the city, helped by a viaduct which ramps up to the stop at Park Grange Croft. Trams then join Park Grange Road and share this road with other traffic, through stops at Park Grange and Arbourthorne Road, to Spring Lane stop. The line climbs steadily up through the Norfolk Park area, which is undergoing lengthy redevelopment. Many of the high rise blocks of flats here have been knocked down, with more still scheduled for demolition, and the gaps will be filled with new affordable housing.
After Spring Lane stop the line turns right (southeast) onto the A6135 City Road, then right again (south) onto the A6102 Ridgeway Road, where there is a stop at Manor Top/Elm Tree. Down to the next stop at Hollinsend the Halfway-bound track uses the fast lane of the dual carriageway road while the city-bound track sits on a reserved track in the central reservation. For the next section to Gleadless Townend stop, both tracks share the road with other traffic.
Gleadless is the location of the junction between the main Halfway route and the short branch to Herdings Park. The main line turns left (east) onto White Lane. To do so the tracks seperate to negotiate the one-way system. There is a stop on White Lane, after which the tramway heads for the county boundary and open country before the Mossborough Townships.
The Herdings Park branch, meanwhile, continues along the A6102 (now called Norton Avenue) for a short distance before turning right (east) onto reserved track and the only intermediate stop, Herdings Leighton Road. From here to the terminus at Herdings Park is single track. The Herdings Park branch has a daytime frequency of a tram only every 30 minutes, but rather oddly this increases to every 20 minutes in the evenings and on Sundays. This combines with the reduced 20 minute frequency on the Halfway service to provide 6 trams per hour between Gleadless and the city.
Alongside the single-track section is a primary school. It is odd to think that for the children here, trams have always been running and have always been a daily part of their lives.
At White Lane's junction with Fox Lane, the tramway crosses the county boundary into Derbyshire, parts company with the road and briefly travels across open country. After a quarter of a mile the line re-enters South Yorkshire and runs alongside Birley Lane to Birley Lane stop. The line runs on-street to just before Donetsk Way, with tram-only stops at Birley Moor Road and Hackenthorpe. The exception is a short stretch of reserved right-of-way for the city-bound track between Birley Moor Road and Birley Lane stops.
The Mosborough Townships are a series of housing estates built at various times in the postwar period. There are tram stops on reserved track at Moss Way, Crystal Peaks (a large shopping centre), Beighton/Drake House Lane, Waterthorpe and Westfield. The terminus, Halfway, is at the edge of the Township of that name.
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