TRANSPORT FOR Greater Manchester has signed a contract for the supply of 27 new M5000 trams for the Manchester Metrolink network, as predicted in our May issue (p15).

The £72 million deal, signed with Bombardier and Kiepe Electric, will help increase capacity on the network by 15%. The first tram is expected to arrive in February 2020, with all 27 delivered by June 2021. The fleet is being funded through the Government’s Transforming Cities fund and was first announced as part of Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s Congestion Deal plan.

The current Metrolink fleet consists of 120 M5000 vehicles, based on Bombardier’s Flexity design, with 108 used to operate the standard weekday service. However, with the new Trafford Park line set to open in 2020, more trams are needed. Twelve of the fleet will cover this extension and the extension of MediaCity to Etihad services to Ashton this summer, while the remainder will allow all Bury and Altrincham services to run as double trams. The procurement involves a variation of the existing Tram Supply Agreement with Bombardier and Kiepe Electric.