The latest M5000 for Manchester Metrolink has been delivered to Queens Road Depot, completing the initial order of 12 M5000s to replace the first dozen T68s (which have, of course, already been taken out of service). 3074 arrived in Manchester during the early afternoon of Saturday 12th October.
Meanwhile a number of other M5000s have now entered service on the network with 3058, 3059, 3061, 3063, 3064, 3065 and 3066 all now available for use. However they have not fitted with the ATS and VRS equipment as fitted with the other operable trams in Manchester and so are restricted to use on routes fitted with the TMS equipment. They can mainly be found operating on the Eccles and MediaCityUK route.
The introduction of these seven M5000s looks likely to another nail in the coffin of the T68/T68A fleet as not all of the remaining examples are required for service on a daily basis with just six Eccles diagrams and two Bury-Altrincham direct diagrams allocated each day for the older vehicles. It is also worth noting that they are not normally used on the double sets on the Bury-Altrincham service unless there is a shortage of available M5000s.