Light rail and trams


New trams on the way for Manchester as TfGM signs £72m contract

27 new Metrolink trams will bolster Manchester’s light rail network in a new £72m contract signed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) today.

The fleet will provide 4,800 extra spaces and increase capacity on the network by 15% with the first tram expected to arrive in February 2020.

Head of projects group at TfGM Alex Cropper told RTM last month that this year is “going to be a big year for Metrolink” and its city region. He also noted that Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has made transport a high priority with major new routes such as the Metrolink’s extension to Trafford Park and the Intu Trafford Centre expanding light rail in the area.

The new trams will be the same M5000 model, manufactured by Bombardier Transport UK and Kiepe Electric, as the existing fleet. They each have a capacity of 206 people and can reach a maximum speed of 50mph.

Burnham said the area of Greater Manchester is growing— meaning more jobs, more people and more demand on public transport networks. He added that the new trams “will be a very welcome – and much needed – addition to the Metrolink fleet.”

He continued: “By significantly enhancing capacity we will enable more people to leave their cars at home and use Metrolink to commute to their jobs, access essential services and explore our amazing city-region.

“That means less congestion on our roads, less pollution in our air and a better quality of life for everyone. I cannot wait to see the first new trams put into action.”

The new trams are being funded by the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, which aims to improve productivity and spread prosperity through investment in public and sustainable transport in England’s largest city-regions.

They were first announced as part of the Congestion Deal, the city-region’s approach for tackling congestion by improving public transport and providing a genuine alternative to driving.

Juergen Voelkner, member of the management board at Kiepe Electric, said: “TfGM has been our customer for many years. We and our partner Bombardier are very happy that TfGM has ordered further M5000 light rail vehicles.”

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Image credit: TfGM


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