M5000 3032 derails at Market Street

Manchester Metrolink services through the City Centre were suspended during the evening of Friday 21st December after M5000 3032 derailed having just departed Market Street stop at approximately 1715.

3032 was running towards Piccadilly Station when it came off the rails having just left  Market Street stop. The incident happened in the vicinity of a set of points and is the third such occasion that a derailment has happened around this point.

Whilst Metrolink and the RAIB undertook their investigations services were altered so trams from Bury and Shaw & Crompton terminated at Victoria and all other services were
diverted in Piccadilly Station. This meant that double T68s provided a very rare sight at Piccadilly and the Piccadilly-Altrincham route also saw the return of T68s which have not been seen since Trafford Depot got its own allocation of M5000s to be used on this service.

The tram had been removed from Market Street by the end of service on 21st December and normal services were resumed across the network including between Victoria and Mosley Street.

The RAIB have launched an investigation into the incident and will release a report giving further details into what happened although if past practice is anything to go by we may well be celebrating Christmas 2013 before this happens…

This entry was posted in Manchester Metrolink. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to M5000 3032 derails at Market Street

  1. Clifford Stead says:

    This derailment highlights the importance of the second city crossing, as the network grows it will become increasingly vulnerable with just a single line through the city centre.

  2. DAODAO says:

    Manchester Metrolink seems to suffer extremely frequent interference with its services due to breakdowns, accidents, thefts of electrical equipment etc. It has cost well over £1 billion to build and sucks funds out of other transport investments.

    Randal O’Toole, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute (USA) makes a very persuasive argument when he states that “streetcars are just plain inferior to buses in every possible way. They are slower; can’t carry as many people per hour; prone to system failure (if one is disabled, every car on the line has to stop); can’t easily respond to changes in travel habits and are far more expensive than buses.”

    While tramways may have a limited appeal as a tourist attraction (as in Heaton Park), I find it incredulous that Manchester is continuing to re-introduce a mode of transport that was considered obsolescent by its corporation more than 80 years ago. For example, I don’t understand the rationale for replacing the 216 bus (along Ashton New Road) by a street tramway that was originally scrapped in 1938.

    • Ken walker says:

      I don’t know about Ashton Old Road, but from experience, a journey from Shaw to Manchester by tram (provided you can get a seat!) is infinitely more pleasant than bumping along pothole-filled roads on a bus, however new the bus may be. And at 27 minutes it takes half the time of the bus journey. The problem of a failure bringing a line to a standstill is just the same as if it happens to a train, and nobody is talking about closing all the railways. At least all the Metrolink vehicles will couple to each other to clear the line (or at least will be when the T68s have gone) in the event of failure, unlike our trains that have goodness knows how many different types of incompatible couplers.

  3. TM says:

    My 10 minute journey to work on an outdated “streetcar” would take three times as long on a bus…

  4. Ian Robinson says:

    Unless someone knows to the contrary, the reason a tram derails at Market Street points is probably because the blades do not close properly as a result of litter, and more particularly tins, which get stuck in between the lines.
    On a recent visit after the derailment tins were stuck on the frog.
    Do Metrolink regularly inspect for this? Judging by the filthy state of their stations, I doubt it.

    Ian Robinson

    • Ken walker says:

      I would imagine that the signalling system would have to detect that the points were correctly set before the signal would clear for the tram, and the presence of debris in the switch would prevent this from happening. It certainly does on the railway. And I would have thought it unlikely that a tin can would derail a tram. There again, Blackpool 006 did derail on sand!

Comments are closed.