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Manchester Arrival For San Francisco Streetcars

Thu Jan 17, 2002 1:30 am

This is the follow-up to https://www.airliners.net/discussions/non_aviation/read.main/128068 and is in today’s Manchester Evening News

METROLINK bosses today (Wednesday) got their first glimpse of a San Francisco tram which they hope will ease their overcrowded system — after a hitch threatened to derail the plan. The second-hand tram had come to a dead stop at Southampton after a six-week trip from California.

A ramp proved unsuitable to get it ashore — and the Boeing Vertol Light Rail Vehicle had to be shipped back via Zeebrugge. But there were smiles all round when Metrolink executives finally saw it at the Queens Road depot.

Two streetcars had been sold at auction instead of ending up as scrap in San Francisco and will be used in Manchester if trials prove successful. A study to ensure compatibility with the existing fleet will be carried out over the next few weeks and could save Metrolink £6m on buying new ones.

Vehicle engineering manager Mark Terry said: ‘‘There is a lot of work to be done to see if they can be customised for use. It is only a feasibility study at this stage. If things do no work out, then it is all over. We will obviously not be buying any more from San Francisco until we’ve done the trials.’’

Serco Metrolink managing director Mike Georgiou said: ‘‘The vehicle is not compatible with the Metrolink system without a number of modifications. New vehicles would take at least two years to build.’’

Mr Georgiou added that if initial studies go well, a decision will be made on whether more vehicles should be shipped over. Conversion work could take several months before the first vehicle is operational.


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