27 new Bombardier built M5000 trams ordered to increase capacity across the Manchester Metrolink are to be delayed because of issues in the supply chain meaning Bombardier will fall behind their construction schedule. The first of trams were originally due to be delivered in February 2020 but a report in the Manchester Evening News has announced a delay with an entry into service now expected during August.
The deal to supply 27 additional trams for Metrolink was officially signed back in July 2018 at which point in time it was said the first would be delivered in February 2020 with one a month following until the order was completed in June 2021. Whilst the first was due in the February it wasn’t planned that the first would be cleared for service until April 2020 and the Trafford Park line opening is not dependent on their delivery (especially considering it wasn’t going to be June 2021 until all were available anyway). The delay now announced suggests the first will be ready for service in August 2020 which suggest it may be June 2020 for the delivery of the first to Manchester, a delay of four months from the original plan. If this delay remains consistent then it looks like October 2021 for the last of the trams to arrive.
The trams are part of a £72 million deal to increase capacity on the network by 15%. Funding is coming from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund. These extra trams will bring the total fleet size in Manchester to 147.