Trams for Edinburgh is a project to build a new tramway in Edinburgh, where local public transport has been limited to buses since the closing of the city’s original tramway on 16 November 1956.

Following years of transport studies in Edinburgh — two bills were submitted to the Scottish Parliament to reintroduce a tram network to Edinburgh. Both bills were passed in March/April 2006, and received Royal Assent. Movement of underground utilities commenced in Spring 2007, once the draft business case had been accepted by the Scottish Executive.[1]

As of October 2006, the scheme is being developed and designed under a joint design contract lead by Parsons Brinkerhoff and Halcrow, and overseen by Transport initiatives edinburgh (tie), a company wholly owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. Currently, work is ongoing to refine previous designs and to undertake survey work where needed in preparation for moving of utilities and later network construction. Once the network becomes operational it will be operated by Transdev who were awarded the contract in 2004 to help develop, and eventually operate the network.

Ticketing and fares will be fully integrated with Lothian Buses. The fare for a single journey on the tram network will be the same as on Lothian Buses, expected to be around £1.25 when the network opens in 2011. Day tickets and Ridacards will be valid on both the trams and buses.[2]

Estimated date of opening for Phase 1a is July 2011, at a cost of £512 million.[3]

Critical scrutinyEdit

The Scottish National Party (SNP) published its intention to scrap the scheme,[4] along with the Edinburgh Airport rail link in its manifesto for the Scottish Parliament general election, 2007, to save a total of £1.1bn.

Following a vote in the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Executive agreed to continue with the line from the Airport to Leith on condition that no more public money would be supplied if the project overran. A report by Audit Scotland, commissioned by the SNP-led Scottish government, confirmed that the cost projections were sound.[5][6]

On 25 October 2007 Edinburgh City Council gave approval to the Final Business Case. Approval was given by the Council[7] on 22 December 2007 for TIE to sign contracts with CAF[8] for the supply of the vehicles and BBS (a consortium of Siemens AG and Bilfinger Berger)[9] for the design, construction and building of the network. Contract negotiations are expected to be concluded in January 2008 with construction of the network commencing in February 2008.[10]


The proposal consists of three lines, of which lines One and Two have parliamentary permission. For funding reasons, the network will be built in three phases. Phase 1a would consist of a line from Newhaven to Edinburgh Airport via Princes Street. Phase 1b would be a line from Haymarket to Granton Square. Phase 2 would link Granton Square and Newhaven together. Phase 3 would extend the airport line to Newbridge. It is hoped that phase one of the network will be operational by 2011.

The network will be operated from a depot that will be situated close to the A8 roundabout just north of the Gyle tram stop.

Line 1 (North Edinburgh)Edit

The first route will be a circular route between the City Centre, Leith, Newhaven and Granton. It will be integrated with the cycle and pedestrian path along the Roseburn wildlife corridor or the former railway between West Coates and Granton.

Please note that routeings, station names, and station locations are subject to change.

Name Phase Transport Interchange Serves
Haymarket Template:Rail-interchange Phase 1a Haymarket railway station
Lothian Buses
Line 2 (West Edinburgh)
Edinburgh International Conference Centre
Shandwick Place Phase 1a
Princes Street Phase 1a Princes Street
National Gallery of Scotland
St Andrew Square (Template:Rail-interchange Edinburgh Waverley) Phase 1a Lothian Buses
Edinburgh Bus Station
Waverley Station
St Andrew Square
St. James Centre
Picardy Place Phase 1a Omni Centre
Edinburgh Playhouse
McDonald Road Phase 1a Easter Road Stadium
Balfour Street Phase 1a Pilrig Park
Foot of the Walk Phase 1a Lothian Buses
Constitution Street Phase 1a
Port of Leith (formerly Ocean Drive) Phase 1a Scottish Executive building
Ocean Terminal Phase 1a Ocean Terminal
Royal Yacht Britannia
Newhaven Phase 1a Newhaven
Lower Granton Phase 2
Granton (formerly Granton Square) Phase 1b
Saltire Square (formerly Granton Waterfront) Phase 1b
Caroline Park Phase 1b Telford College
West Pilton (formerly West Granton) Phase 1b
Crewe Toll Phase 1b Lothian Buses Fettes College
Telford road Phase 1b Western General Hospital
Craigleith Phase 1b Craigleith Retail Park
Ravelston Dykes Phase 1b Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Stewart's Melville College
The Mary Erskine School
St. George's School
Roseburn Phase 1b
The line continues to Haymarket to complete the loop

Line 2 (West Edinburgh)Edit

File:Guided Busway West Edinburgh.jpg

The second route will run from the City Centre out to Edinburgh Airport via Edinburgh Park, with a branch line to Newbridge. In February 2005, construction of a bus guideway, which forms part of the route, was completed. The guideway is designed for conversion to tram running, and between proposed stops 4 and 6 runs adjacent to the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, between Haymarket and Edinburgh Park stations.

The Scottish Government announced [11] on 27 September 2007 the cancellation of the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link and that they would build a new rail station and tram stop on the Fife Railway line this would allow fast connection to Edinburgh Airport, costs for this have not been stated and would be in addition to the currently budgeted for amount.

Please note that routes, station names, and station locations are subject to change.

Name Phase Transport Interchange Serves
Between the city centre and Haymarket, trams run along Line 1.
Haymarket Template:Rail-interchange Phase 1a Haymarket railway station
Lothian Buses
Line 1 (North Edinburgh)
Edinburgh International Conference Centre
Murrayfield Phase 1a Murrayfield Stadium
Balgreen Phase 1a Edinburgh Zoo
Saughton Phase 1a
Bankhead (formerly South Gyle) Phase 1a Stevenson College
Edinburgh Park Station Template:Rail-interchange Phase 1a Edinburgh Park railway station Hermiston Gait retail park
Edinburgh Park Central Phase 1a Edinburgh Park
Gyle Centre Phase 1a Gyle Shopping Centre
Gogarburn Phase 1a Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters
Ingliston Park and Ride Phase 1a Lothian Buses
At this point the line diverges; one branch runs to Edinburgh Airport, the other to Newbridge North
Edinburgh Airport Phase 1a Edinburgh Airport Rail Link Edinburgh Airport
Ingliston West Phase 3 Royal Highland Showground
Ratho Station Phase 3
Newbridge South Phase 3
Newbridge North Phase 3

Line 3 (South East Edinburgh)Edit

The third tram line would run from the City Centre towards the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and finally connecting with Newcraighall railway station and park and ride, with a possible extension to Musselburgh.

The third route has yet to be submitted to the Scottish Parliament. Funding for the line depended on Edinburgh voters agreeing to a congestion charge, which was rejected in the Edinburgh road tolls referendum, 2005. As such, the proposal is on hold and does not form part of the proposed phases, but the land needed for the line will be protected for at least 10 years.[12]

Name Phase Transport Interchange Serves
Waverley station Template:Rail-interchange N/A Edinburgh Waverley railway station
Lothian Buses
Line 1 (North Edinburgh)
High Street N/A Royal Mile
South Bridge N/A
Nicholson Square N/A University of Edinburgh central campus
St Patrick Square N/A
The Meadows N/A The Meadows
Newington Road N/A Newington
Minto Street N/A
Newington Station N/A Interchange with South Suburban Railway at Newington Station
Craigmillar Park N/A University of Edinburgh King's Buildings campus
Cameron Toll N/A Cameron Toll Shopping Centre
The Inch N/A
Moredun N/A Moredun
RIE/Bio Medipark N/A Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
Greendykes N/A Greendykes
Craigmillar N/A Craigmillar
Niddrie N/A Niddrie
The Wisp N/A
Fort Kinnaird N/A Fort Kinnaird Retail Park
Newcraighall Template:Rail-interchange N/A Newcraighall railway station

Tram vehiclesEdit

The contract to build the trams is worth up to £40 million, and manufacturers were required to meet "tie's" (Transport Initiatives Edinburgh) specifications. Tenders were submitted in mid October 2006. The trams will be manufactured by CAF who was selected from amongst the four manufacturers who submitted tenders. Alstom, Bombardier, and Siemens were the other companies competing to build the 27 vehicles.

The trams will have to cope with the steep slopes of Edinburgh while being 30 to 40 m (100 to 130 ft) long, possibly the longest in the UK. They will be 100% low floor built to meet the UK Rail Vehicle Access Regulations in the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 for disabled people. Passenger capacity will be more than 200 with a vehicle top speed at 70 to 80 km/h (45 to 50 mph). The system will be fitted with CCTV on the tramstops as well as in the tram. Special requirements that Edinburgh city has put on the bi-directional vehicles are low noise and a visual fit suitable for a World Heritage Site.[13]

Willie Gallagher, chairman of TIE, said: "Edinburgh will have the most advanced tram system in the world."[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. BBC News - £60m released for Edinburgh trams
  2. Edinburgh Evening News - Transport chief prices single tram ticket at £1.25
  3. Edinburgh City Council Press Release
  4. SNP 2007 Manifesto
  5. BBC News - Climbdown after transport defeat
  6. The Scotsman - Trams given green light....
  7. City leaders back the final case for trams - News
  11. The Scottish Government - News
  13. [1]
  14. BBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh and East | City trams to be 'best in world'

External linksEdit