Edinburgh State of the art Trams Launch

The BBC have run the story all day with highly negative commentary prefaced with, troubled, delayed, expensive, disputed, not a single positive introduction has been heard during the bulletins today, so to balance the highly negative #BBC news coverage of the launch today in Edinburgh of state of the art trams, here is a more positive outlook on this climate friendly new service for the population and visitors to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh’s state of the art new tram system has launched today, May 31st 2014.

Edinburgh has a history of using trams, the Edinburgh Corporation Tramways ran from 1871 until it was decommissioned on 16 November 1956. Since then, public transport services have consisted of buses and a limited network of commuter rail lines. Towards the end of the 20th century, there was revived interest in trams, with networks introduced in Birmingham, Croydon, Manchester and Nottingham.

Proposals for an Edinburgh tram network were made in the 1990s, and a plan to build a line along Princes Street and Leith Walk to Newhaven pier was proposed in 1999 by the City of Edinburgh Council, Lothian and Edinburgh Enterprise and the New Edinburgh Tramways Company.


The New Trams

The trams are bi-directional, 42.8 metres (140 ft 5 in) long and with low-floor access to meet UK Rail Vehicle Access Regulations for disabled people.Each tram has a capacity of 332, allowing for 80 seated and 252 standing passengers.

A full-size mockup of the front of the tram was constructed in 2009 and displayed on Princes Street for public viewing,moving to Constitution Street at the foot of Leith Walk in April 2009.

In April 2010, the first tram was delivered and displayed at the Princes Street stop at the bottom of The Mound. It was moved to open storage in Broxburn. The 27th tram was delivered in December 2012.

Trams are painted white with rose madder and platinum stripes, a livery mandated by Transport for Edinburgh and shared with minor variation by Lothian Buses. The livery was adopted after two previous liveries were discarded.

 What is the tram route?

The 14km tram route runs from Edinburgh Airport all the way to York Place in the city centre. Along the route are 15 tram stops, connecting passengers with bus and rail services and popular shopping and commuter destinations. Find out more by exploring our route map and tram stops.


Edinburgh’s new tram service will begin on 31st May 2014.On 31 May Edinburgh’s trams will welcome the first fare-paying passengers in the city for more than 50 years. With a “ding ding” of their bells, drivers will make history as they step into they step into their cabs before heading off from the airport, the Gyle and into the capital.

How long is the journey from Edinburgh Airport to the city centre?

Travelling the full tram route is expected to take under 40 minutes. Please see our timetable page for more information. Trams will have automatic priority at traffic lights, making for more consistent journey times than other road traffic.

Who runs the trams?

Edinburgh Trams operates both the tram vehicles and route. The City of Edinburgh Council wholly owns the public company, which is run as an arms-length organisation. Edinburgh Trams is part of the Transport for Edinburgh group, which also includes Lothian Buses.

How will I buy tickets to travel by tram?

Find out more about buying tickets for trams.

Can I use my RIDACARD on trams?

Yes. For passengers, Edinburgh Trams and Lothian Buses will work as one. So you will be able to use your RIDACARD on both services. Read more about the benefits of RIDACARD.

As a wheelchair user, will I be able to travel by tram?

Yes. Our trams are 100% wheelchair accessible and our tram stops have ramps and lifts where necessary. So disabled passengers will be able to travel throughout the entire tram route.