The Manchester tram Metrolink has been boosted by the arrival of the last of 27 new trams, as part of a £72m investment in the network.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) signed a contract with Bombardier Transportation UK – now Alstom – and Kiepe Electric to produce the M5000 in July 2018.
The last of the new batch of trams was received by Metrolink operator KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM) on Saturday 24th September, and is undergoing testing and commission before going into service.
Each of the new vehicles will make Metrolink’s fleet of trams more resilient, boost capacity for passengers and allow for more services to be scheduled for high-profile events within Greater Manchester.
The new trams are funded by the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, which has also helped build more car parking capacity around the network, as well as expanding Trafford and Queens Road depots.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “It’s really important we attract people onto public transport as we build the Bee Network, and Metrolink is a key part of our plans for a more integrated, ‘London-style’ system.
“Metrolink is synonymous with Greater Manchester and, following a decade of investment and growth is now the largest network in the country. We are proud of it, and it shows what can be done when you have local control over something that is run in the interests of the people it serves.
“These new trams represent a further major investment and will provide increased capacity at key growth areas.
“Like the buses, we now need more people to get on board their local Metrolink services so that we can grow patronage and revenues and put Metrolink back on a more financially sustainable footing.
“The more people that use public transport to more we will ultimately be able to reinvest back into the system and make the Bee Network the first-class public transport system that Greater Manchester needs.”
Metrolink’s fleet of 147 trams has covered over 118 million kilometres, with the new fleet of vehicles approaching 2 million kilometres in service. On average, trams cover an average 40,000 kilometres a day.
Danny Vaughan, Head of Metrolink at TfGM, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve now received all 27 new trams which will mean we can boost capacity on the network and attract more people onto Metrolink, as well as other modes of public transport as part of the Bee Network.
“Along with investment in our trams, we have also expanded park and ride facilities on the network and are improving cycling facilities at Metrolink stops to support the vision of an integrated public transport system.”
Guillaume Chanussot, Managing Director of KAM, added: “We are proud to operate Metrolink on behalf of TfGM and we are committed to delivering the best customer journey experience.
“The increased capacity provided by the additional 27 new trams enables us to continuously improve our customer offering for the people of Greater Manchester.”