2013 ends with another T68 withdrawal

The last day of 2013 saw the withdrawal of the nineteenth Manchester Metrolink T68 with 1012 becoming the latest example to be taken out of service. The vehicle had last run on Boxing Day when it suffered with a compressor problem and the decision has now been made not to make repairs.

Its last day in service was on the Eccles service which normally remains the best place to see the remaining T68 and T68As in service on a daily (during the week anyway) basis, although with their numbers continuing to dwindle rapidly their appearances are few and far between.

1012 ‘s claim to fame is that it was the first LRV to carry passengers from Victoria to Bury on 6th April 1992 when Metrolink first opened between Bury and Victoria.

The vehicle remains at Queens Road Depot where it was one of just nine of the T68s to be in situ – the first time the number has been in single figures since the fleet was first delivered to the depot in early 1992. Following the movement of 1002 and 1009 to Trafford Depot shortly before Christmas the remaining T68s at Queens Road are now 1007, 1012 (withdrawn), 1016, 1017, 1021 (ice-breaker), 1022, 1023, 2001 and 2003.

The end really is approaching for the T68s as we enter another year!

1012 is seen at the head of a double unit arriving at Cornbrook on 17th November 2013. (Photo: Steve Kemp)

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15 Responses to 2013 ends with another T68 withdrawal

  1. Monopodmansdad says:

    Strange that you say it was withdrawn on Boxing Day as we filmed it on Friday 27th. It was paired with 1022 on the Eccles Line. On that day all the T68’s were paired and on Eccles line and the two T68A’s were single on Bury – Altrincham Line.

    • Monopodmansdad says:

      Apologies. My first sentence should have read ‘Strange that you say it last run on Boxing Day as we filmed it in service on Friday 27th.

  2. Clifford Stead says:

    Do we know if and when TFGM are going to have a special event to mark the withdrawal of the type?

  3. Ken Walker says:

    1023+1016 running as a double on the Altrincham-Bury service this lunchtime

  4. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    Thanks for that Ken. So 1007 is out again. I had not seen it for weeks. Apparently it had an electrical fault in the articulation and normally would have been withdrawn. However given it significance in the original Metrolink street running first day it has been decided to repair and retain it.

    • Ken Walker says:

      1007+1017 were out as a pair again today, on the same diagram that 23&16 were on yesterday, arriving in Victoria at 1pm bound for Bury, so that may have become a regular 2xT68 working.

  5. Clifford Stead says:

    There is talk of 1007 going to Heaton Park. Now that would be interesting would it not?

  6. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    That is very true if it comes off.

  7. Phil Hart says:

    I agree it would be great. It is however different from all the other T68s in that is has different seats.

    It’s a pity it couldn’t have been 1019 or 1020 as they had not been modernised. They still have the original mirrors lights and roller blinds.

  8. Ken Walker says:

    A Merc driver tried to bring 1017’s career to an end at Exchange Quay last night!


  9. Mike Norris says:

    Good evening Gents,
    Just a reply for Mr Clifford Chambers (see his comments above)
    As TfGM cannot get themselves rid of the T68/A’s fast enough, is some form of ‘special event’ anything we should be expecting ? RATP dev UK monthly performance reports to TfGM really tell the tale of T68’s. Further to your second comment, what use would a T68 at Heaton Park be ? – are we forgetting these are HIGH FLOOR trams and principally the reason that there is no possibility of any kind of further use either commercially or in preservation in the UK. Remember GMPTE built the system to a budget (and a low one at that) using ex BR railway lines – with platforms !
    (Incidentally as I write this can see there is NO service at all presently.)

    • Ken Walker says:

      To be fair the reason given for the reduced service is ‘police incidents’ at Victoria and in the city centre. Not really Metrolink’s fault: the police rarely show any regard for innocent people trying to go about their business.

      • Gareth Prior says:

        Tragically a man has been killed after being hit by a tram at the junction between Market Street and High Street this evening, so I think the reasons for the delays are pretty understandable.

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