Saturday 14th November saw Manchester Metrolink welcome the first of 27 new trams ordered to increase capacity on the network (at the time because of high passenger numbers although now capacity is needed for different reasons – namely so everyone can stay as far away from each other as possible!). 3121 made the trip from mainland Europe arriving in the traditional Saturday slot at Queens Road Depot.
These new 27 trams have been made possible thanks to funding from the government’s Transforming Cities fund with the £72 million deal being announced back in July 2018. It is expected that the trams will now be delivered to Manchester roughly every 3-4 weeks until the last of them (3147) arrives at some point in late 2021 or early 2022.
The trams are being built to Bombardier in Vienna, Austria with 3121 starting its long journey across mainland Europe and then the UK on Wednesday (11th November). Having arrived at Queens Road Depot it was soon unloaded and will now undergo commissioning. Transport for Greater Manchester have previously announced they expect it to be in service before Christmas with a big thing made of the opportunity it will provide to operate more double units across the network to aid social distancing at the present time.
That’s one down, another 26 to go (and finding something new to say in 20 articles about a new tram arriving!).