M5000s pairs enter service

Since being introduced into service the M5000s on Manchester Metrolink had exclusively operated singly with any double workings being in the hands of the older T68s but this has now changed with double M5000s being used in service to help increase capacity for the Olympic football taking place at Old Trafford. However with Mosley Street stop in the City Centre remaining open the operation of these double M5000s has not been without its problems.

The first double M5000s appeared in service during the week commencing 16th July on the Altrincham route but because of the short platforms remaining at Mosley Street and the fact that the M5000s do not have the retractable steps as fitted to the T68s the operation of these doubles has proved quite a challenge. As a result passengers who wish to travel to Mosley Street are told to only travel in the front tram and upon arrival here the rear tram is kept locked out of use with regular announcements made to passengers informing them of this fact. At all other stops it is possible to operate the double units normally.

It is expected that the double M5000s will remain in service for the duration of the Olympic football but following that all double trams will be in the hands of the T68s until such a time as Mosley Street has been closed. The closure of this stop requires passenger information displays to be installed in Manchester City Centre informing passengers whether the next tram for Bury/Altrincham will depart from Piccadilly Gardens or Market Street and this is dependent on the full application of the new signalling system.

 

3022 and 3006 are seen here at Altrincham preparing to depart with a service for Bury as a coupled unit on 24th July 2012. (Photo: Steve Hyde)

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7 Responses to M5000s pairs enter service

  1. Fascinating photo of new vehicles struggling through waist-high weeds on what appears to be an abandoned right-of-way! I rode the Altrincham line a few days ago and was horrified by the unkempt state of the trackbed in the station. Have Metrolink abandoned any attempt to control weed growth on their tracks?

    • Colin Smith says:

      It certainly appears that way. But it is not only at Altrincham. Much of the system looks in a very unkempt condition with weed growth on and around most platforms on the Eccles line and lineside vegetation taking over in other places as well.

    • Fred Fitter says:

      Metrolink are currently not responsible for the track maintenance from just north of Deansgate L/C to Altrincham, it is under Network Rail control, therefore blame for the weeds should be directed to Network Rail.

      • Ken Walker says:

        Yes, but only the weeds between Timperley and Altrincham! Weeds on the Network Rail network are usually managed by weedkiller trains but I don’t know whether these have access to the Metrolink lines.

        • Thanks to Fred and Ken for all this info. There certainly is a track link between Network Rail and Metrolink rails, just north of Altrincham station, alongside Grosvenor Road, so presumably the weedkilling trains could use this.

  2. Colin Smith says:

    Having travelled three times this week on double M5000s between Bury and Altrincham I must point out that the above information is not quite accurate. In the direction mentioned above, the rear vehicle doors are locked out of use all the way from Bury until the ensemble arrives at St. Peter’s Square. From there to Altrincham the whole of the two units are in passenger service until the trams arrive back at Bury, where, again the rear unit is locked and out of use.

    • WatcherZero says:

      They started off just telling people to get on the front one if using that station but general stupidity struck and the general population couldnt manage this simple instruction so had to switch to locking it out of use.