The very last chance to ride on one of the original T68 fleet on Manchester Metrolink will take place on Monday 26th May when one of the vehicles will run a special tour in aid of charity. Details have not been revealed as to which LRV(s) will be used but just 180 tickets are available (which suggests that it may be more than one T68 in action) for the tour which will depart Piccadilly at 1030 before visiting all of the classic network: Altrincham, Bury and Eccles.
The vehicles will be driven by drivers who drove the first trams back in 1992 and to add to the occasion they will be wearing their original uniforms.
Non-refundable tickets are available on a strictly first come, first served basis by going to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/t68-farewell-journey-tickets-11537806891 (this page also gives a countdown of how many tickets remain, at the time of writing it is 114). Tickets cost £20 and can be exchanged on the day of the tour for special commemorative day passes which will provide travel across the entire Metrolink network for the whole day. Any participants are advised that the tour will leave Piccadilly Station at 1030 prompt and to congregate at the mezzanine level of the Metrolink stop to exchange their tickets in plenty of time so they don’t miss out on this last ever trip. All proceeds from the tour will go to TfGM’s chosen charities: The Christie and Francis House Hospice.
And if you haven’t yet got your copy of “Superb: A Tribute to the Manchester Metrolink T68 and T68A Light Rail Vehicles” this will be the ideal chance as the authors of the book, Andrew Coward and John Henderson, will be on hand to sell and sign copies.
Peter Cushing, TfGM Metrolink Director, said: “The T68s have enormous historical significance and have played a major role in re-establishing light rail onto the UK’s streets. Over the ensuing years Metrolink has experienced unprecedented growth and has provided the blueprint for several other cities that have followed Manchester’s lead by introducing tramways onto their streets. I’m sure that this will be reflected in the popularity of the event which has provided an excellent opportunity to raise money for two fantastic causes.”
Chris Coleman, Managing Director of Metrolink RATP Dev Limited (MRDL), added: “The retirement of the T68 tram from service marks a significant milestone in Metrolink’s history and for public transport in general in Greater Manchester.
“Over the past two decades, the vehicles have served the region well, transporting tens of thousands of customers every day, so it’s only fitting they should have an appropriate send off. The day looks set to be a great success and our employees have been keen to support the event with two of our drivers, who have been with the company for more than 20 years, dusting off their old uniforms and volunteering to drive on the day. As well as this two of our Control Room operators will be there on the day too to sell and sign copies of the 200 page book they’ve co-authored on the history of the T68 tram. All the money raised from sales of this book will go to Bury Hospice.”
If you want to reserve your place on this last ever tour don’t hesitate as when all 180 tickets are sold that will be it – the chance will be gone!
* If anyone who attends the event would like to send photos through to us we would be very grateful as again British Trams Online is double booked!