Metrolink Passengers set for a boost with order for 16 new trams

15 September 2014  •  Author(s): Transport for Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester’s Metrolink passengers are set to benefit from a £34 million deal for 16 new trams which will provide extra space and capacity across the network.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) struck the deal with tram manufacturer Bombardier for the new trams using cash from the government’s Local Growth Fund.

It was initially anticipated the funding would pay for 12 trams, but the larger order has been made possible through a combination of favourable exchange rates and buying in bulk.

Alongside another recent order of 10 trams, this latest order means Metrolink’s fleet will be boosted to 120 vehicles by 2017. The trams will be used to provide extra capacity on the expanded tram network.

Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM’s Metrolink Committee, welcomed the news today: “This latest tram order is great news for Metrolink passengers and means there will be 26 new trams set to start running on the network in coming years.

“As Metrolink expands and grows in popularity we know that our customers want extra services and extra room on trams, and that’s why we are looking to the future and making sure we can meet that demand.

“This order will bring the tram fleet to 120 vehicles – a symbol of just how far our network has come since it opened in 1992 with just 26 trams.

“Our major expansion programme has been a giant leap for Metrolink, and that leap has been matched by the far greater performance and quality of the new M5000 trams compared to the original, now-retired T68 vehicles.”

Metrolink’s distinctive yellow trams – the FLEXITY Swift model – can carry more than 200 passengers and first began running back in 2009. Since then all the older ‘T68’ vehicles have been gradually phased out and the Metrolink fleet is under five years old.

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