The first of 27 new trams being manufactured for Manchester Metrolink by Bombardier Transportation has arrived at the Queens Road depot after a 1,800km journey across Europe.
The new M5000 vehicle will now undergo a thorough testing and commissioning process ahead of going into service before Christmas.
Additional trams are then set to arrive every three to four weeks until the contract is complete.
The vehicles, which are 28.4 metres long, 2.6 metres wide and 3.6 metres tall, are manufactured in Vienna, Austria in a process that utilises 1km of cabling and 3,117 different parts from 128 different suppliers. Each tram requires 3,500 man hours to complete.
Head of Metrolink Danny Vaughan 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 President UK & Ireland, said: ‘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 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.
The £72 million contract with manufacturer Bombardier Transportation UK and Kiepe Electric was signed by Transport for Greater Manchester in July 2018.