Two more M5000s enter service

The last couple of days has seen the operational M5000 fleet on Manchester increase first to 81 and then to 82 with the entry into service of 3062 and 3083. The introduction of 3062 into service comes some 18 months after it was delivered to Manchester and follows significant rebuilding following the vehicles use as a spares donor to keep other members of the fleet operational.

3062 was the first of the LRVs to carry passengers with it being allocated to the Piccadilly to MediaCityUK service on Thursday 5th June. It has spent the past three months inside Trafford Depot’s workshops being rebuilt and following test runs in the past week or so it is now cleared for service. Like all other recent vehicles to enter service it is not fitted with ATS/VRS equipment and so is limited to certain routes. Its second day of service – Friday 6th June – saw it running on the Eccles to Ashton-under-Lyne route.

Friday 6th June also saw the entry into service of 3083 with this vehicle also being allocated to the Eccles to Ashton-under-Lyne service although it only lasted briefly before returning to depot due to a fault with its displays. Again 3083 joins the non ATS/VRS equipped fleet.

Its taken some time but 3062 has finally carried passengers in Manchester. On its second day of use we catch up with the LRV in the city centre on its way to Ashton.

3083 entered service briefly on 6th June but was taken out of use due to problems with its destination displays. It is seen here calling at St Peter's Square. (Photos: Steve Kemp)

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4 Responses to Two more M5000s enter service

  1. tram man says:

    Good to see 3062 in service at last.Its been a uphill struggle for the engineers at old Trafford.At one stage they were stripping it quicker than they could re-build it.I don’t think its even got its original bogies,as they were donated to some other vehicle.So I would think its warranty is null and void.Which brings me to my next question of who set up this contract with Bombardier in the first place,where 3062 along with many others were stripped due to lack of spares.So well done to the staff at old Trafford.

    • freel07 says:

      The issue of spares quantities is always a hot topic and is generally a question of the contractor supplying a list of suggested spares and quantities for the fleet size along with a cost. Unfortunately manufacturers seem to have a somewhat over optimistic view of their products’ reliability and the ‘bean counters’ are only too willing to accept that very few parts are needed.

      This means that maintenance engineers usually end up with less spares than they would like due to a combination of finance and also the fact that fleet availability is often below that quoted by the manufacturer due to external influences such as accidents and other unforeseen events that are not included on the manufacturers calculated reliability figures.

      Depot ‘Christmas Trees’ as these donor vehicles are known are a common feature of rolling stock maintenance. Metrolink’s T68A fleet never had a complete set of spare bogies, they only ever had one motor bogie and one trailer bogie for them. That is all the manufacturer would supply. Midland Metro seems to have been in the position of having one tram up on stands stripped minus its bogies and other components ever since it opened. I guess that is the extreme case. Accident damaged vehicles, both heavy and light rail, are often stripped of parts to keep others serviceable and it can take quite a time to get enough parts available to put the repaired vehicle back into use. Another factor is extended turn round times when parts are sent for repair which means that they are not available for reuse.

  2. Nigel Pennick says:

    Is 3062 the original tram as delivered from the factory? Clearly not. All the recent preservation arguments about restoration vs. conservation of much older vehicles must be looked at in the light of the short history of this tram, which never ran in “original condition”.

  3. tram man says:

    free107 you hit the nail on the head in your first paragraph.My only concern is the cost of rebuilding these “Christmas trees” is down to metrolink.I know when the T68s were delivered a couple of them were used as donar vehicles due to spares,but the cost of rebuilding them was down to Firema/GEC.Never mind at least I know where my council tax is going.

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