UK’s Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has signed a £34m deal with train manufacturer Bombardier to deliver 16 new trams for use on Greater Manchester’s Metrolink.

This contract comes under the UK Government’s Local Growth Fund and aims to provide extra space and capacity across the network. By 2017, Metrolink’s fleet will be expanded to 120 with this order of 16 trams, including the recent order for ten units.

"Our major expansion programme has been a giant leap for Metrolink."

TfGM Metrolink committee chair councillor Andrew Fender said: "This latest tram order is great news for Metrolink passengers and means there will be 26 new trams set to start running on the network in coming years.

"Our major expansion programme has been a giant leap for Metrolink and that leap has been matched by the far greater performance and quality of the new M5000 trams compared to the original, now-retired T68 vehicles."

Bombardier’s Flexity Swift trams, which started running on the Metrolink in 2009, can accommodate up to 270 passengers, with 104 seated and 166 standing.

The trams are equipped with a passenger information system to deliver timely and relevant travelling information using Mitrac’s propulsion system.