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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Tram system gets 17m investment
One of the new trams currently operating in Germany
Up to 200 people will be able to travel on each of the new trams
Transport bosses in Greater Manchester have signed a multi-million pound deal to bring eight new trams to the Metrolink network.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) is investing 17m in the trams, which will be built by Canadian transport company Bombardier.

The Flexity Swift model already operates in several European cities.

The new trams will be introduced to the Metrolink system during 2009 as part of a 100m improvement scheme.

Twenty miles of worn-out track on the Bury and Altrincham lines is also being replaced as well as installing new ticket machines and stop upgrades.

Tackle overcrowding

GMPTA chairman Roger Jones said: "This is fantastic news for Metrolink passengers, who now make around 55,000 journeys on the network every day.

"The eight new trams will help to tackle overcrowding at peak times and improve the reliability and performance of services. We expect to be able to place an order for at least 28 more in the near future for the first phase of the Metrolink expansion.

"We've secured more than half a billion pounds to build new lines to Oldham and Rochdale, Droylsden in Tameside and Chorlton in South Manchester, and work is due to start next year."

Up to 200 passengers will be able to travel on each tram and wide double doors will make it easy for people with wheelchairs or child buggies to get on and off them.

Bombardier will design and manufacture the trams at its sites in Bautzen in Germany and Vienna in Austria.

There are currently 32 trams operating on the Metrolink network. The eight new trams will allow transport bosses to run more double trams during peak times.

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