A new generation of trams for Greater Manchester
Metrolink is in the process of phasing out its original fleet of ‘T68’ trams and replacing them with new yellow and silver M5000 trams.
A total of 94 yellow and silver M5000 trams have been ordered from a consortium of tram manufacturer Bombardier and propulsion supplier Vossloh Kiepe to run on the current network and future extensions. The first of these new trams was introduced into service on the existing network at the end of December 2009. When the order is complete in 2014, all services on the Metrolink network will be served by brand new vehicles.
The phased ‘retirement’ of the blue and silver T68s began in September 2011.
The new trams
The M5000s are up to four times less likely to develop a disruptive fault than the T68s, which reduces maintenance costs.
As they are ten tonnes lighter, they will also reduce energy costs and prolong the life of the existing rails by several years, reducing the long-term costs of track renewals.
The introduction of the new trams means passengers will experience quieter, smoother journeys, less crowding at peak times and a more reliable service.
The new yellow and silver trams bring a host of other new features such as::
- a lighter, brighter and roomier interior
- extra legroom for most seated passengers
- better handrails for standing passengers
- wider doorways
- two multi-purpose areas for wheelchairs and prams
- clearer information displays.
Where they come from
The M5000 Flexity Swift trams are manufactured by global transport company Bombardier at its factory in Vienna in Austria. The electrical equipment is provided by Vossloh Kiepe in Dusseldorf.
Where else they run
Similar vehicles operate in several European cities including London, Cologne, Bonn, Rotterdam and Stockholm.
Why they are more accessible
The new trams are compliant with Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (RVAR). This means that there is more room in circulation areas such as in and around doorways and aisles.
- Capacity: 206 passengers
- Maximum speed: 80km/hour
- Length: 28.4 metres
- Height: 3.67 metres
- Width: 2.65 metres
- Weight when empty: 39.7 tonnes
- Multipurpose areas: Two
- Doorways: Four per side