Manchester Metrolink has taken delivery of the first of 27 new trams from a £72 million contract that was placed in July 2018.
The same model of tram that is already operated by Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink, the new M5000 vehicles will increase capacity on the network by around 15%.
Stabled at Metrolink’s Queens Road depot, the new arrival will now undergo a thorough testing and commissioning process ahead of it going into service before Christmas. Additional trams are then set to arrive every 3-4 weeks.
The vehicles, which are 28.4m long, 2.6m wide and 3.6m tall, are
Delivered by road after a 1,800km (1,120 miles) journey from the Bombardier Transportation’s factory in Vienna, Austria, each tram is 28.4 metres long, 2.6 metres wide and 3.6 metres tall, contains 1km of cabling and 3,117 different parts from 128 different suppliers, and requires 3,500 man-hours to complete.
Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s head of Metrolink, said: “I’m delighted that the first of the new trams has arrived safely in Manchester.
“Their arrival is not only important to us in the short term, as we’ll be able to add extra capacity throughout next year to help with social distancing and make tram travel even safer for passengers, but also long term as we seek to rebuild and encourage people safely back onto the network post pandemic.”
Matt Byrne, Bombardier Transportation’s president for the UK & Ireland, added: ‘As a proud Mancunian and regular Metrolink user, I am particularly delighted that the first of our 27 new M5000 trams has now arrived in Manchester to add capacity and help allow for social distancing across the Metrolink network.
“The new vehicles continue our long-standing relationship with Transport for Greater Manchester, with whom we are working closely to ensure a smooth introduction into passenger service.”
The trams, which are being supplied by Bombardier Transportation UK and Kiepe Electric, are being funded by the Transforming Cities Fund and were first announced as part of the Congestion Deal (March 2018), the city-region’s approach for tackling congestion by improving public transport and providing a genuine alternative to driving.