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Milestone moment as Metrolink’s final M5000 tram leaves Vienna depot

Transport for Greater Manchester has celebrated the successful upgrade of the Metrolink tram fleet as the 120th vehicle left Bombardier’s Vienna depot.

Tram 3120, the final tram in the fleet, left the manufacturer’s depot on 27 September and is due to arrive in the UK this weekend.

It will now be fitted with Metrolink livery before entering service.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester committee, said: “This is a proud moment for everyone associated with Metrolink as the imminent arrival of Tram 120 is symbolic of the major investment and expansion of the Metrolink network in recent years.”

The 120 M5000 model trams were introduced to provide a more modern alternative to the T68s, which were retired in 2014.

A part of the network’s new Second City Crossing, a new stop opened at Exchange Square last year, followed by a stop at St Peter’s Square last month.

Metrolink passenger journeys have increased by 19.1% in the past year, and it scored 89% passenger satisfaction in a recent Transport Focus survey.

It has also become the first fully wi-fi enabled tram network in the UK.

Peter Cushing, director of Metrolink, told RTM recently that the company is also keeping a “watchful eye” on the £60m tram-train study in South Yorkshire, which is currently under review.

Christian Diewald, Bombardier’s chief country representative for Austria, said: “We are pleased that tram 120 will soon be available for the passengers of Greater Manchester.

“These trams feature a high degree of passenger comfort and score points with their strong performance in terms of energy efficiency and reliability.”

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Andrew Gwilt   30/09/2016 at 14:11

What about the future extension of the Manchester Metrolink such as the extension to Salford City and Salford Docks with a new tram stop close to Manchester United FC Old Trafford (Stretford End) and possible extensions to Stockport Town Centre, Wythenshaw Town Centre, Trafford Centre, Bolton, Blackburn, Burnley and other towns in the Greater Manchester area and outside of the Greater Manchester area as well a new loop extended to Manchester Airport via Wythenshaw.

David   01/10/2016 at 01:16

What about them?

Andrew Gwilt   01/10/2016 at 05:36

What a stupid question was that David. Unless you got confused. This is the last ever vehicle that Manchester Metrolink has ordered as Bombardier have built 120 M5000 Tram vehicles and soon Metrolink could see the extensions to take place as there are plans to extend it to other areas around Greater Manchester and outskirts of Greater Manchester.

David   01/10/2016 at 09:33

If it's the last ever vehicle that they have ordered, then they won't have enough trams to service all the extensions that you kindly suggest. Not that that has anything to do with the content of this article.

Andrew Gwilt   01/10/2016 at 17:59

Whatever David.

Lee   03/10/2016 at 09:33

Andrew, Metrolink is unlikely to extend to Bolton or Wigan as both Local Authorities have expressed no interest in being served by the network, opting fot buses plus a TfGM subsidy instead. Blackburn and Burnely are very far outside the Manchester boundary, why would the ten GM Local Authorities fund via their TfGM subsidies, an extension to non-GM counties? If such extensions did take place how would Metrolink reach Blackburn and Burnley except via new infrastructure or via existing heavy rail routes. In the case of the latter, these would more likely be operated by tram-trains than M5000 LRV's. There are plans to extend to the Trafford center, I understand work on the TWO and planning stages of this line are underway. I have also seen the proposed alignment from Manchester Airport to Altrincham. Whther this would require additional LRV's is not clear, i doubt it as services could operate using the existing fleet operating around the south Manchester loop that would be created. Either way, the end of the M5000 production line is not going to mean an end to Metrolink expansion. Should newer or additional LRV's be required for any future extensions, I'm sure would be ordered as part of any expansion works and built to the then current standard rather than an old standard typified by the M5000's at some point in the future. To do otherwise would be like ordering more T68 LRV's from Firema for current extensions of the network.

Andrew Gwilt   05/10/2016 at 09:51

Properly you are right Lee.

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