Manchester Metrolink - Manchester Metrolink Rolling Stock - E

Manchester Metrolink - E
Manchester Metrolink Rolling Stock
Manchester Metrolink Current Fleet
As of 2022, Metrolink operated a fleet of 147 trams.
  • Bombardier M5000   Tram
3001–3060   All routes*
2009–2016   2009–present
Because low-floor tram technology was in its infancy when Metrolink was in its planning stages, and in order to be compatible with the former British Rail stations that Metrolink inherited, the network uses high-floor trams with a platform height of 900 mm (35 in), the same height as main line trains.
Trams on Metrolink operate either single units, or coupled together to form double units, which regularly run during peak hours.

Bombardier M5000 Tram

In December 2009, Metrolink took delivery of the first Bombardier M5000 tram. Built by Bombardier Transportation and Vossloh Kiepe, the initial eight M5000s were ordered to allow services to be increased. They are part of the Bombardier Flexity Swift range of light rail vehicles and have a design similar to the K5000 vehicle used on the Cologne Stadtbahn.
With the approval of the spur to MediaCityUK, a further four were ordered. To provide rolling stock for the phase 3 extensions and replace the existing fleet, the order was increased successively to 94. In December 2013, a further 10 M5000s were ordered to provide trams for the Trafford Park Line planned to open in 2020, while in the interim supporting a service between MediaCityUK and Manchester city centre and other capacity enhancements. In September 2014, a further 16 were ordered, the final one of which was delivered in October 2016, bringing the fleet up to 120.
  • In July 2018, a further 27 were ordered to help relieve overcrowding.
  • Delivered from November 2020, the final tram was delivered in October 2022.
Manchester Metrolink Ancillary Vehicles
Metrolink has several ancillary vehicles used for maintenance within depots. The "Special Purpose Vehicle", later numbered 1027 with its support wagon 1028, is a bespoke diesel-powered vehicle dating from the networks construction in 1991. It is fitted with a crane, inspection platform, mobile workshop, and capacity for a driver and three passengers. It was designed to assist with vehicle recovery and track and line repairs although to the end of its service life rarely left its base at Queens Road Depot. By January 2023 both 1027 & 1028 had been withdrawn from service for disposal.
In 2020 Metrolink took delivery of a Zephir Crab 2100E, a small battery powered vehicle for use moving trams within the depot. It is based at Queens Road to replace the Special Purpose Vehicle. Trafford depot operates a smaller Zephir Crab 1500E dating from construction of the depot in 2011. A Unimog road-rail vehicle was added to the fleet in mid-2022 to support infrastructure inspection and maintenance activities.
Manchester Metrolink Former Fleet
Manchester Metrolink has previously operated the following trams:
  • AnsaldoBreda T-68   Tram
1001–1026   Bury-Altrincham-Piccadilly (later Eccles)
1991–1992   1992–2014
  • AnsaldoBreda T-68A
2001–2006   Eccles Line
1999   1999–2014
  • T-68/68A
To commence operations, a fleet of 26 T-68 trams manufactured by AnsaldoBreda in Italy was delivered in 1992. To provide extra trams for the Eccles Line, six modified T-68A trams were purchased in 1999. The T-68A vehicles were based on the original T-68s but had modifications replacing destination rollblinds with dot matrix displays, and retractable couplers and covered bogies necessary for the high proportion of on-street running close to motor traffic.
Three of the earlier T-68 fleet were similarly equipped and were known as T-68Ms. Mechanically and electrically, the T-68M vehicles were essentially a T-68 with modifications to its brakes, mirrors, and speed limiters to suit the Eccles line. Initially only these vehicles were permitted to operate the Eccles line but the entire fleet except for 3 (1018, 1019, 1020) were modified between 2008 and 2012 for universal running, under a programme known as the T-68X Universal Running programme.
The newer M5000 trams proved to be considerably more reliable than the T-68/A fleet, which averaged 5,000 miles between breakdowns, while the M5000s averaged 20,000 miles. This led to a decision in 2012 to withdraw the entire fleet from service and replace them with M5000s. The T-68 and T-68As were withdrawn between April 2012 and April 2014.
Tram numbers 1007 and 1023 are owned by the Manchester Transport Museum Society, who run the Heaton Park Tramway, 1007 remains in store at Old Trafford depot while 1023 is at the Crewe Heritage Centre on display. Both will move to Heaton Park upon construction of an extension to the current depot.
Manchester Metrolink & San Francisco Trams
In 2002, in the lead up to Manchester hosting the Commonwealth Games, a requirement to increase capacity for the event led to Metrolink investigating the purchase of redundant second-hand Boeing LRV vehicles from the Muni Metro system in San Francisco. Two were procured for testing at a cost of £170 each, although transport costs added £15,000 to that figure.
The trams, numbered 1226 and 1326, were shipped to the UK in January 2002, with 1326 taken to Queen's Road depot and 1226 sent to a research centre in Derby for safety evaluations. 1326 was hauled by the Special purpose vehicle on a test from Queens Road depot to Eccles and back but suffered from a number of derailments. In the end, the proposal was not taken forward as the vehicles were found to be unsuitable and not cost effective for use in the UK with both later being scrapped.
Manchester Metrolink Overview
Manchester Metrolink Owner: Transport for Greater Manchester
Manchester Metrolink Locale: Greater Manchester
Manchester Metrolink Transit Type: Tram/Light rail
Manchester Metrolink Number of Lines: 8
Manchester Metrolink Number of Stations: 99
Manchester Metrolink Annual Ridership: 36.0 million (2022/23)
Manchester Metrolink Increase: 38.5%
Manchester Metrolink Chief Executive: Danny Vaughan (TfGM Metrolink Director)
Manchester Metrolink Headquarters: Metrolink Trafford Depot
Warwick Road South
M16 0GZ
Manchester Metrolink Began Operation: 6 April 1992, 31 years ago
Manchester Metrolink Operator(s): KeolisAmey Metrolink Ltd.
Number of Vehicles: 147 Bombardier M5000
Manchester Metrolink Train Length: 28.4 metres (93 ft)
Manchester Metrolink System Length: 64 miles (103 km)
Manchester Metrolink Track Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Manchester Metrolink Minimum Radius of Curvature: 25 m (82 ft)
Manchester Metrolink Electrification: 750 V DC overhead line
Manchester Metrolink Top Speed: 50 miles per hour (80 km/h)
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