T68 to make final trip

Manchester’s now-defunct T68 tram will return to the city’s streets later this month to honour the fleets’ retirement.

A final farewell trip is to take place on May 26 in aid of charity to signal the fleets’ formal decommissioning.

One of the original T68 trams, which have been in operation since the system was opened on 1992, will travel the network’s original route, stopping at Piccadilly, Eccles, Bury and Altrincham.

Tickets are available and all money raised will be donated to charity. Metrolink staff will also dress in the original uniform worn by employees when the network first opened.

Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink director, Peter Cushing, 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.”

Chris Coleman, managing director at Metrolink RATP Dev Limited (MRDL), said: “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 phased retirement of the T68s began in November 2011. The network is now entirely served by M5000 vehicles built by Bombardier and Vossloh Kiepe.