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

 

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.   There are plans for the line to be extended from York Place to Newhaven in the future, 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 Ingilston 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, just over 3 years late.

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 to the press, the new livery (the 3rd livery to date) that the trams will carry.

Testing intensified over the following months eventually with a full trial timetable running in the weeks before the tramway opened.   On Saturday 31st May 2014, the tramway finally opened to the public and has been a success with passenger numbers being higher than expected, with the trams carrying 4.92 million in its first year.   The usual frequency of the service until 2016 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.

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 Additional peak time extras were added during Summer 2016 and from January 2017, trams run 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 new rail station as an interchange for the Fife Circle.  The station called Edinburgh Gateway opened in December 2016.   The station is located between Gogar Depot and the Gyle Centre tram stop.  

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.

The Route

Stop Name Near by Landmarks Notes
Edinburgh Airport For Edinburgh Airport Double track terminus with scissors crossover
Ingliston 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 Ingilston 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

The 27 trams that were ordered for Edinburgh were built by CAF and are URBOS Type 3, double ended, 7 Sectioned articulated trams with a top speed of 43 mph.   They have a seating capacity of 78 and up to 170 standing passengers and 2 wheelchair spaces giving a capacity of 250.   There are spaces for 2 wheelchairs  

There was enough trams ordered for the original planned line to Newhaven and the Branch to Granton.   Now with the project being much shortened from the original at present, there are too many trams with only 14- 15 being needed to operate the service.   This will mean they will be cycled in and out of service so that they are all being used at some point.   The trams are numbered 251 - 277 following in sequence from the original fleet that was scrapped in 1956 (Although there was 11 ex Manchester trams that were numbered 401 - 411 in the original fleet). 

Fleet Number Livery Notes
251 Madder and White with platinum lining carries advertising for #tramspotting, advertising the new 7 minute daytime service.
252 Madder and White with platinum lining Was on display on Princes Street and at Leith during 2010, carries the new modified livery
253 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
254 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
255 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
256 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
257 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
258 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
259 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith.
260 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
261 Madder and White with platinum lining First tram to receive external advertising. Carries an advert for the Edinburgh Festival.
262 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
263 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
264 Madder and White with platinum lining First tram to travel along the Edinburgh Park - Haymarket and Haymarket - York Place Sections on test
265 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
266 Madder and White with platinum lining Carries external advertising for CR Smith.
267 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
268 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
269 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
270 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
271 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
272 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
273 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
274 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
275 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
276 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery
277 Madder and White with platinum lining carries the new modified livery