Tram heritage

Trams originally became part of Edinburgh life in the mid-19th century. Find out more about the city’s tram heritage here.

Edinburgh’s earliest trams, which appeared in 1871, were horse-drawn vehicles that ran along tracks. With the progress of technology, these started to be replaced by cable-hauled trams – or cable cars – from 1888 onwards. 

Electric trams first arrived on Edinburgh’s streets in 1905. By this time, tram routes around the city (and to nearby towns such as Joppa) were extensive. The famous double-decker electric trams served Edinburgh until the tramway closed in 1956. 

Horse-drawn tram at the foot of Leith Walk, 1898.

This busy street scene at the foot of Leith Walk shows one of Edinburgh’s horse-drawn trams transporting passengers. Horse-drawn trams would be phased out over the following decade in favour of cable cars.

Electric trams on Princes Street, 1955.

Looking west along Princes Street from the junction at the foot of the Mound. Although trams were soon to cease operating in Edinburgh, they still dominate the city’s main thoroughfare in this image.

All images reproduced with kind permission from Capital Collections. You can see more images from their collections here.

Explore our trams

Edinburgh has a fleet of 27 modern and 100% wheelchair accessible trams built by Spanish manufacturer CAF.

Take a look

Frequently asked questions

Want to know the tram route, where the stops are and how long the journey takes?
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