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Bombardier M5000, New Vehicles for Metrolink

GMPTE/TfGM has now ordered 94 new trams; 8 for phase 1 & 2 upgrades, 4 for Cornbrook — MediaCityUK, 28 for the Phase 3a extensions, 8 for Ashton & Didsbury accelerated extensions, 12 for the Airport line, 2 for Oldham & Rochdale town centre lines and 12 to replace some of the T68 fleet. A further 20 have also been ordered to replace the remaining T68 and T68a trams. After manufacture and testing in Vienna they are being delivered to Manchester. There will be a total of 94, M5000, trams on the network; running on the existing system and the new Metrolink lines.

3001, the first new tram, arrived at the Metrolink Queen’s Road depot on Monday 13 July 2009 at around 6 am, having made the final leg of its journey under police escort. It left the Bombardier depot in Vienna on the back of an articulated lorry in the early hours of Thursday and travelled almost 1,000 miles as it made its way through Germany, the Netherlands and Rotterdam before landing at the Port of Hull on Sunday.

Trams go through rigourous testing on the Metrolink system to make sure they meets safety regulations. Following testing the driver training programme started. The first of the new trams went into service on 16 December between Piccadilly and Eccles. There was an official launch event on 21 December 2009.


Numbered 3001 upwards they are double ended, 28.4 metres long, articulated units carrying up to 206 passengers. The new Metrolink colour scheme with yellow ends and yellow and silver sides is used, these colours are also be used inside the trams. There are two wheelchair or child buggy spaces. Four wide full–length glass double doors will make them feel lighter and brighter.

Each tram has three bogies, the two outer bogies are powered. The unmotored centre bogie supports the articulation gangway. Powered bogies each have two three–phase ac 120 kW motors. Electrical regenerative braking and mechanical disc brakes are provided. For emergency use there are 6 magnetic track brakes.


A passenger stood in the centre articulation can see the same layout when looking towards either driver’s cab. There is a perch seat on both sides of the articulation.

Between articulation and centre door lobby there is a single seat on the left and a double seat on the right facing the driver’s cab.

Between centre and outer door lobbies there are; on the left, two single seats then two pairs of double seats facing towards the driver’s cab; on the right is a wheelchair space which also has 3 perch seats, then there are two aisle facing seats. This layout gives room for chair users to turn round.

Between the outer door lobby and driver’s cab; on both left and right sides are two rows of double seats looking towards the articulation. Then facing the cab is a row of two double seats followed by a double seat on the left and a single seat on the right. This allows space for the driver’s cab door. Tinted glass in the window and door allow clear through the cab views.

Door lobbies have a darker floor surface which rises slightly from door sill to centre aisle. A yellow centre grab pole is positioned in the middle of the door lobbies, there is space for wheelchair users to pass.

Pictures are now in the new trams photo gallery.

Bombardier M5000: top of page

This page was written by Tony Williams, Manchester Area Officer, Light Rail Transit Association. Contact if you have any comments, ideas or suggestions about these pages.