Although Manchester’s light rail system proved too small for two former San Francisco Boeing-Vertol railcars imported by Metrolink, the trams of Manchester are narrow enough to cause no problems on the San Francisco network. That might explain the surprise move yesterday as the San Francisco tram operator MUNI announced their intention to buy the original turquoise and green Metrolink trams to work alongside their fleet of 151 Breda light rail vehicles. The extra trams will allow additional capacity to be provided on peak hour services along the Market Street subway at less cost than an order for new trams. Metrolink would then replace the trams with a top-up order of the new Bombardier M5000 “banana” trams.
Spokesperson Abril Necio said that subject to negotiations, MUNI hoped to have the first of the original 26 “T-68” Manchester trams in operation on their system by this time next year. “We’re certain that the Manchester trams will feel right at home in our city, as the weather is just as unreliable! We’ve heard that Blackpool have some spare trams as well – chop the top deck off and they’ll fit perfectly.”
Of course, this story was published on 1st April 2011…
[Image credit: “MUNI 1299” by mod as hell on Flickr]