Edinburgh Trams

276 at St Andrews Square276 at St Andrews Square276 departs St Andrews Square with a service from York Place - Edinburgh Airport 5.3.16 Tram 252 on display in Princes StreetTram 252 on display in Princes StreetEdinburgh Tram 252 on display in Princes Street 30.7.10 Introduction

The Edinburgh Tramway currently consists of an 8.7 mile route from Edinburgh Airport on the western outskirts of the City to York Place in the City Centre.    The route was initially intended to continue on to Newhaven, near Leith on the shoreline of the River Forth, however the route was cut back to York Place due to a funding crisis.   However there are now plans for the line to be extended from York Place to Newhaven in the next few years, indeed at York Place, there is a crossover built in to allow for the track to easily be added in.   

There were plans for a branch from West of Haymarket to Granton that would mostly have been on the alignment of a former railway line, and would eventually be joined up with the original line at Newhaven, creating a circular route and also for a branch from the Airport line at Ingliston heading to Newbridge, both lines have been cancelled but may be revived in the future.  

The opening of the tramway was much delayed having been due to open in February 2011 and eventually opening on 31st May 2014, over 3 years late.

Testing

The first tram arrived in Edinburgh during 2010.   Tram 252 was displayed on Princes Street at the newly built tram stop over the summer and it was later displayed at Leith.

From December 2013 testing took place on weekdays between Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh Park.   Tram 264 had the honour of becoming the 1st tram to reach York Place, doing so overnight between 4/5th December 2013. On 18th December tram 265 also reached York Place with a run to reveal the livery that the trams would carry in service (actually the 3rd livery carried by the trams since delivery) to the press.

Testing and driver training intensified over the following months eventually with a full trial timetable running in the weeks before the tramway opened, all leading up to the big day, when the tramway would finally open to the public.  

Opening

The tramway finally opened to the public on Saturday 31st May 2014, with a low key launch.   1000 platinum tickets were issued (the number was evenly spread between machines at each of the stops on the system) for the first 1000 passengers.   Tram 255 was first to leave Gogar depot that morning, heading to the turn back loop at Haymarket Yards as a standby tram for any breakdowns.   Tram 275, the first service tram, arrived at Gyle Centre from Gogar Depot just before 5am and such was the demand to travel on it, it left for York Place full and standing with many people left behind!   Demand for travel on the first day was so high that an additional 3 trams had to be brought into service to cope with the crowds.   13 trams were used altogether with 255, 259, 260, 261, 263, 266, 267, 271, 273, 274 and 275 as well as a further 2 trams being used that day.   Overall, 39636 passengers used the trams on the first weekend with 24176 passengers on the Saturday and 15460 on th 261 at Ingliston Park and Ride261 at Ingliston Park and Ride261 in its new vynal wrap for the Edinburgh Festival heads away from Ingliston Part and Ride with a York Place - Edinburgh Airport Service 28.7.17 e Sunday.  

Passenger numbers and Service frequency increase

Since that opening weekend, the tramway has gone on to be a massive success with passenger numbers being higher than expected.   In the first year alone, the trams carried 4.92 million passengers.   Running times have been extended to match the Airport opening hours and the frequency of the service has also increased as well.  

Until 2016, the usual service frequency was 8-10 minutes Monday - Saturday and 12-15 minutes on a Sunday using a maximum of 15 trams from the fleet of 27 trams.

Additional peak time extras were introduced during Summer 2016 and from January 2017, the trams became even more frequent running every 7 minutes during the day time with services reducing to every 10 minutes early morning and into the evening.  

An additional stop was built near to the tram depot and connected to the Edinburgh Gateway rail station, which opened at the same time as an interchange for the Fife Circle and services from the North of Scotland.  The stop opened in December 2016 and is located between Gogar Depot and the Gyle Centre tram stop. 

External advertising

December 2016 saw external advertising appear on the trams for this first time, giving some additional interest for enthusiasts!   The adverts carried to date have featured advertising along the top of each tram and also featured contravision advertising on the 3rd and 5th section of the tram.   Tram 261 was chosen to carry the first advert, making its debut wearing an advert for Edinburgh's Hogmanay.   Since then, a number of in house adverts have appeared since then and are listed below:

Tram Advert Notes Photo
261 Edinburgh's Hogmanay Promoted the tramway's special Hogmanay service.   Advert carried from Dec 2016 - Jan 2017  
251 #Tramspotting Promoting the increase in service frequency to 7 minutes.   Carried from January 2017 - Present 251 at Gogar Depot251 at Gogar DepotCAF urbos 3 number 251 wearing its #Tramspotting all over advert, which advertises the 7 minute daytime service now in operation. The tram is stabled at Gogar Depot 16.9.17
261 £3.20 return Promoting a £3.20 return ticket to Murrayfield for the Scotland v Wales 6 Nations game on 25th February 2017. Advert carried during February 2017.  
261 Trampede Promoting the Royal Highland Show as well as travel to the event by tram. Advert carried during May/June 2017  
261 Edinburgh Festival 70 Promoting the Edinburgh International and Fringe Festivals in their 70th year as well as travel to the event and all night trams on Saturday nights during August.  Advert carried during July / August 2017. 261 at Ingliston Park and Ride261 at Ingliston Park and Ride261 in its new vynal wrap for the Edinburgh Festival waits at Ingliston Park and Ride with an Edinburgh Airport - York Place Service 28.7.17
276 Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmanay Promoting travel by tram to Edinburgh's Christmas and Edinburgh's Hogmanay events 276 at Edinburgh Park Central276 at Edinburgh Park CentralCAF Urbos 276 with a split Edinburgh's Christmas on one side and Edinburgh's Hogmanay on the other approaches Edinburgh Park Central with a service from York Place - Airport 18.11.17 276 at Edinburgh Park Central276 at Edinburgh Park CentralCAF Urbos 276 with a split Edinburgh's Christmas on one side and Edinburgh's Hogmanay on the other pauses at Edinburgh Park Central with a service from York Place - Airport 18.11.17

Highest number of passengers

Saturday 28th February saw the largest number of passengers carried to date on a single day with 28,000 people traveling. This day coincided with the Scotland v Wales 6 nations Rugby match taking place at Murrayfield.

CR Smith Advertising Contract

In August 2017, Edinburgh Trams signed a 2 year contract with CR Smith to advertise externally on 18 out of the 27 trams.   On each tram the 3rd/ 5th section (wheel sections) will be covered with vynal and contravision with one section having an image of the CR Smith van with the phrase "The man in the blue and white van" adorned on the side whilst the other panel features stunning artwork pairing iconic Scottish locations or images that reflects not only the geographical spread of CR Smith’s customer base, but also celebrates Scotland’s soul and personality, this section is unique to each tram.    Trams which have received the adverts so far are:

Tram Locations on advert Notes Photo of unique advert section
259 From Carrbridge to the Forth Features the old Carrbridge and the Forth Rail Bridge 259's advert vynal259's advert vynal259's from Carrbridge to the Forth vynal, which makes up part of the advert for CR Smith carried by this tram 8.9.17
266 From Falkirk to Musselburgh Features a Falkirk Kelpie and a Musselburgh Racehorse 266's advert266's adverttram 266's CR Smith advert featuring a Falkirk Kelpie and Musselburgh Racehorse 8.9.17
260 From Glasgow - Peterhead Features Duke of Wellington Statue from Glasgow with traffic cone on head and the Peterhead lighthouse 260's advertising panel260's advertising panelfrom Glasgow - Peterhead panel on 260's CR Smith advertising panel including the famous statue with the traffic cone on its head and the Peterhead lighthouse 8.9.17
263 From Lossiemouth - Kinross Features RAF fighter jets and Kinross Geese 263's advert detail263's advert detailsome of the detail of 263's new advert for CR Smith 3.9.17
272 From Troon - Edinburgh Features a Sandcastle on Troon Beach and Edinburgh Castle 272's advert panel272's advert panel272's advert panel featuring a sandcastle on Troon Beach and the world famous Edinburgh Castle 8.9.17
261 From Glen Nevis - North Queensferry Features an ice climber and a diver 261's advert panel261's advert panelfrom Glen Nevis to North Queensferry panel on 261's CR Smith advert featuring an ice climber and a diver 8.9.17
270 From Fraserburgh - Finneston A Crane bird and the Finnieston Crane on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow 270 at Gogar Depot270 at Gogar Depotnot the best of shots due to the position of the tram at Gogar depot, however here is tram 270's CR Smith panel featuring from Fraserburgh - Finnieston with 'feathered' crane and the Finnieston crane on the banks of the Clyde 8.9.17
262 From Dunblane - St Andrews A tennis player and a Golfer 262's advert panel262's advert panelfrom Dunblane to St Andrews featuring a tennis player and golfer on tram 262 8.9.17
267 From Largs - Dundee A Viking and Longboat and the SS Discovery 267's advert detail267's advert detailstunning artwork on 267's CR Smith advert featuring a Viking and Viking longboat (Largs) and the SS Discovery (Dundee) 15.9.17
274 From Pitlochry - Meadowbank A Salmon and a hurdler 274's advert detail274's advert detail274's CR Smith advert features stunning artwork featuring a salmon leaping up stream (Pitlochry) and an athlete jumping over a hurdle (Meadowbank) 15.9.17
255 Fae Leith tae Alloway a domed building and a statue of Robert Burns 255 advert panel255 advert panelCR Smith advertising vynal on 255 featuring a domed building and a statue of Robert Burns with the phrase Fae Leith tae Alloway. 30.9.17
252 From Bannockburn to Dundee a statue of Robert the Bruce and a statue of Desperate Dan 252's advertising panel252's advertising panelCR Smith advertising vynal on 252 featuring a statue of Robert the Bruce and a statue of Desperate Dan with the phrase From Bannockburn to Dundee. 30.9.17
258 From Turnberry to Blair Drummond a bag of golf clubs and some meerkats on a mound 258's advert panel258's advert panelCR Smith advertising vynal on 258 featuring a bag of golf clubs and some meerkats on a mound with the phrase From Turnberry to Blair Drummond. 30.9.17
277 From Lochmaben to Dunfermilne a statue of Robert the Bruce and Dunfermilne Abbey 277's advert panel277's advert panelCR Smith advertising vynal on 277 featuring a statue of Robert the Bruce and Dunfermilne Abbey with the phrase From Lochmaben to Dunfermilne. 30.9.17
253 tbc tbc tbc
275 From Speyside to Aberdeen a Whisky Distillery and a North Sea Oil Rig 275's advert panel275's advert panelCR Smith advertising vynal on 275 featuring a Whisky distillery and a North Sea Oil Rigwith the phrase From Speyside to Aberdeen. 13.10.17
269 From Inverness to Edinburgh The Flying Scotsman and an Edinburgh tram on Princes Street  

Special Services

Special all night services were introduced on Saturday Nights in August 2017 to allow better travel home from the event.   On 10th September, special 'Bike Express' trams were run from St Andrews Square non stop to Ingliston Park and Ride in connection with the 'Pedal for Scotland' event.  These extras were running early morning and afternoon only to allow competitors to reach the Ingliston Showground where the event was starting from / ending.

Future Extension?

Plans are also afoot to extend the tramway to the originally planned phase 1 terminus at Newhaven.   The expected cost is £144.7 million.   The cost would have been higher if it wasn't for the fact that the trams for the route are already in the fleet and the track and overhead poles for the route are already in stock.   A final decision on whether the extension goes ahead is due in September 2018 and if it does go ahead, it should be complete by 2022.

The Route

Stop Name Near by Landmarks Notes
Edinburgh Airport For Edinburgh Airport Double track terminus with scissors crossover
Ingliston Park and Ride For Ingliston Park and Ride  
Gogarburn For RBS Headquarters  
Gogar Depot   Tram Depot, can be viewed from service road just off A8 at Gogar Roundabout. Also has a small staff only halt on the main line.
Edinburgh Gateway For Edinburgh Gateway Station Interchange for services to Fife and the North
Gyle Centre For the Gyle Shopping Centre grassed tracks either side of station
Edinburgh Park Central For Edinburgh Park  
Edinburgh Park For Hermiston Gait Retail Park and interchange with Edinburgh Park Rail Station Interchange Station
Bankhead For Stevenston College  
Saughton For Carrick Knowe and Stenhouse  
Balgreen For Edinburgh Zoo  
Murrayfield For Murrayfield Stadium and Roseburn  
Haymarket For Haymarket Rail Station, Bus Interchange, Dalry Road, Edinburgh International Conference Centre Interchange Station, start of the street section, there is also a bypass loop to allow shortworkings in Haymarket Yards, just round the corner from this stop
West End- Princes Street For Shandwick Place, St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral tram stop on island in middle of road
Princes Street For Princes Street, The Mound, National Gallery for Scotland tram stop on island in middle of road
St Andrews Square For Edinburgh Waverley, Bus Station, St Andrews Square, St James Centre, National Portrait Gallery tram stop on island in middle of road
York Place For Broughton Street, Leith Walk, Omni Centre, Edinburgh Playhouse Single track terminus, platform built on the trackbed of Westbound track, extra set of points added in case line extended to Newhaven

 

Some Features of the Route

Curve from Ingilston - AirportCurve from Ingilston - Airportcurve from Ingilston Park and Ride Station heading towards the Airport 4.1.14 Curve from Gogarburn towards Ingilston P and RCurve from Gogarburn towards Ingilston P and RCurve from Gogarburn towards Ingilston P and R 4.1.14 View from Gogarburn stop towards Gogar DepotView from Gogarburn stop towards Gogar DepotView from Gogarburn stop towards Gogar Depot 4.1.14
Concreted curved track and ballasted straight track between Ingliston Park and Ride and Airport stops Curved Grassed tracks between Gogarburn and Ingliston stops Grassed tracks and road crossing between Gogarburn and Gogar Depot
     
view of Gogar Depotview of Gogar Depotview of Gogar Depot 4.1.14 Grassed track curve and underpass at Gyle tram stopGrassed track curve and underpass at Gyle tram stopGrassed track curve and underpass at Gyle tram stop 30.11.13 Grassed track and road crossing at Gyle tram stopGrassed track and road crossing at Gyle tram stopGrassed track and road crossing at Gyle tram stop 30.11.13
Gogar Depot seen from the road bridge just off the A8 Curved tracks from Gyle Centre heading to Gogar underpass and at the otherside is Gogar Depot Road crossing and grassed tracks at Gyle Centre
View from Edinburgh Park Station towards Gyle CentreView from Edinburgh Park Station towards Gyle CentreView from Edinburgh Park Station towards Gyle Centre 4.1.14 View from Edinburgh Park Central towards Edinburgh ParkView from Edinburgh Park Central towards Edinburgh ParkView from Edinburgh Park Central towards Edinburgh Park 4.1.14 the viaduct between Edinburgh Park and Edinburgh Park Central Stopsthe viaduct between Edinburgh Park and Edinburgh Park Central Stopsthe viaduct between Edinburgh Park and Edinburgh Park Central Stops 4.1.14
a foot crossing and the view from Edinburgh Park Central towards Gyle Centre stop View of the bridge over the Edinburgh - Glasgow Rail line from Edinburgh Park Central View of the bridge over the Edinburgh - Glasgow Railway taken from Edinburgh Park towards Edinburgh Park Central
view from Edinburgh Park towards Saughton tram stopview from Edinburgh Park towards Saughton tram stopview from Edinburgh Park towards Saughton tram stop 4.1.14 Haymarket Yards turnback loopHaymarket Yards turnback loopHaymarket Yards turnback loop next to Haymarket Station 7.12.13 Haymarket YardsHaymarket Yardstrack from turnback loop up to Haymarket Tram Stop 7.12.13
View from Edinburgh Park towards Balgreen Turnback Siding at Haymarket Yards Street tramway with track built into road surface between Haymarket Yards and Haymarket Station
St Andrews SquareSt Andrews Squarelooking up hill towards St Andrews Square tramstop and Princes Street 7.12.13 St Andrews Square - York PlaceSt Andrews Square - York PlaceCurve from St Andrews Square into York Place 7.12.13 York PlaceYork PlaceLooking out from the York Place tramstop, note the point leading from nowhere, probably for if the tramway is extended to Newhaven 7.12.13
track spreading for the centre platform at St Andrew Square Stop Sweeping Curve from St Andrew Square - York Place A sign of things to come in the future? extra set of points on left hand side at York Place coming from where the single track platformed terminus currently is.

 

Station Furniture

Some of the furniture you will find at the tram stops

View from Edinburgh Park Central shelterView from Edinburgh Park Central shelterView from Edinburgh Park Central shelter 4.1.14 Edinburgh Park Central signEdinburgh Park Central signEdinburgh Park Central sign 4.1.14 New Destination screens at GogarburnNew Destination screens at GogarburnNew Destination screens at Gogarburn 4.1.14
Shelter at Edinburgh Park Central Stop sign featuring the new branding Destination screen at Gogarburn

The Trams

27 CAF Urbos Type 3 trams were ordered for the Edinburgh Tramway.  

Technical information

Built by CAF
Model Urbos Type 3
Number Built 27
Delivered 2010-2012
Fleet Numbers 251-277
Driven from Either end (double ended)
Number of Sections 7
Top Speed 43 MPH
Seating 78
Standing Passengers 170
Wheelchair Spaces 2
Step Free Access Throughout Each Tram
Air Conditioning Yes
Defibrillators Carried on board each tram

Each tram is articulated with wheels under sections 1,3,5 and 7.    

The 27 trams were ordered for the original planned line from the Airport to Newhaven and the Branch to Granton.   However as the line is currently curtailed at York Place, only 14- 17 trams are needed to operate the service.   To even out the mileage and usage of the trams, they are cycled in and out of service regularly.  

Fleet Data

Fleet Number Delivery Date Livery All over advert Notes
251 21.2.12 Madder and White with platinum lining carries advertising for #tramspotting, advertising the new 7 minute daytime service.  
252 27.4.10 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith. Was on display on Princes Street during 2010. Then Stored in a bus yard in Broxburn until 18.10.11
253 13.7.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith.  
254 20.11.12 Madder and White with platinum lining    
255 29.10.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith. First tram to depart Gogar Depot on Launch day (not in service but to stable at Haymarket Yards)
256 16.10.12 Madder and White with platinum lining    
257 2.5.12 Madder and White with platinum lining    
258 24.4.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith.  
259 11.4.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith.  
260 22.5.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith. First tram to call at Edinburgh Gateway stop
261 27.3.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith. First tram to receive external all over advertising.
262 18.9.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith.  
263 3.7.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith.  
264 7.8.12 Madder and White with platinum lining   First tram to travel along the Edinburgh Park - Haymarket and Haymarket - York Place Sections on test
265 26.7.12 Madder and White with platinum lining    
266 2.10.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith.  
267 18.6.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith. First tram to run on section between Gogar Depot and Edinburgh Park 8.10.13
268 16.7.12 Madder and White with platinum lining    
269 10.12.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith  
270 17.1.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith. Final tram to be delivered
271 13.3.12 Madder and White with platinum lining   Additional opening windows fitted to try and reduce temperatures in tram during the summer.   Fitted 9.15
272 30.1.12 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith. Fitted with trial window filters in 9.15 to try and reduce temperatures for passengers inside tram.
273 6.6.12 Madder and White with platinum lining    
274 24.11.11 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith.  
275 31.10.11 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith Carried branding during May 2014 with #readytoroll advertising the opening date of the system as 31.5.14. First tram to carry passengers on opening day.
276 15.11.11 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmanay  
277 17.10.11 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith. First tram to move under own power.  Did first test run from Gogar Depot - Airport on 12.12.12