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SUPERB - A tribute to the Manchester Metrolink T68 & T68A Light Rail Vehicles


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At the beginning of February 2014, the final member of the 26-strong Metrolink T68 Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) fleet was taken out of service, bringing down the curtain on more than two decades of service to the people of Greater Manchester. Now a new book has been published, compiled by Metrolink RATP Dev Ltd Controller Andy Coward, and retired local transport enthusiast John E Henderson, to tell the story of these historic vehicles.


When the first vehicle, LRV 1001, was delivered to Manchester in August 1991, it marked the start of a brand new generation of street tramways in the UK, and over the ensuing years Metrolink has experienced unprecedented growth, along with providing the blueprint for several other cities that have followed Manchester’s lead by introducing tramways onto their streets. However, the introduction of a new fleet of Bombardier/Vossloh M5000 LRVs from 2009 saw the newer vehicles gaining much improved levels of reliability against the older vehicles. This lead to Transport for Greater Manchester deciding to take the T68 LRVs and the six T68A LRVs (which were built in 1999 for use on the Phase Two extension of Metrolink from Cornbrook to Eccles) out of service, with a phased rundown of the fleet starting in April 2012.


Throughout their working life, the T68 and T68A fleets have both proved to be challenging, in terms of operation and reliability, for the various operators of Metrolink, but each of the T68 vehicles has amassed around 1 ½ Million miles running throughout their careers. They have also been a symbol of the pioneering spirit of the Manchester transport planners who first suggested returning trams to Manchester’s streets in the early 1980s and there is an appreciation of the historical significance of the vehicles.   


So, why choose the name SUPERB for the book? Co-author John E Henderson has closely followed the fortunes of Metrolink and its LRV fleet since the system was opened in April 1992. For Metrolink’s tenth anniversary in 2002, John was invited to name one of the LRV fleet and come up with a name which he thought typified Metrolink. He instantly thought of the name SUPERB and asked if the name could be applied to LRV 1011, which had been the first member of the fleet he travelled in ten years earlier. Ironically, ten years later (in April 2012) 1011 became the first member of T68 LRV to be withdrawn from service. 


SUPERB tells the story about the vehicles from their delivery, through to their withdrawal, and is illustrated by a large number of high quality photographs, including a number of behind-the-scenes images. The book contains 200 pages and is in an A4 format, produced perfect bound in softback, and printed in full colour. It is priced at £18.00 per copy and copies can be purchased from various transport book retailers, or directly from the website www.buryrossendalerails.com.


The book has been produced on a voluntary basis and all profits generated from the sale of the books will be donated to Bury Hospice. For many years LRV 1017 carried the name BURY HOSPICE in support of the vital work done by the organisation in providing vital end of life care to local people. However, many of our hospices rely on donations to support them and both authors believe that this particular charity would be an appropriate choice to receive the profits generated by the book sales.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Can you please tell who the other book sellers are?


I have checked a number of the usual UK book sites, to no avail.


I am interested in purchasing a copy, left an e-mail with the supplied web address enquiring about shipping to Canada last Friday, but, still have not received any response.





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