They promised it would enter service before Christmas and it did – just! 3121, the first of the latest batch of 27 Bombardier built M5000s to have been delivered to Manchester, was used in passenger service for the first time on Wednesday 23rd December.
3121 had been delivered to Queens Road Depot back on 14th November and after going through the commissioning process was finally cleared for use in the lead up to Christmas. Now complete with its spots and other additions to the fleet livery (it was delivered with just the basic livery carried and no numbers) it was allocated to service on Wednesday 23rd December 2020. It operated a part duty on the Trafford Park line and if all went well during this usage it was planned for it to run a full day on Christmas Eve, 24th December. But as this article is being written on the evening of 23rd December we don’t know if that happened!
A further 26 trams will enter service over the next 18 months or so with just one other, 3122, currently in Manchester having been delivered on 12th December. Deliveries are expected every 3-4 weeks.