First Tram on Princes Street

Posted on Thursday, 5th December 2013 at 09:00

On the night of Wednesday 4th December Edinburgh Trams ran the first tram through the city centre in 57 years. This was a substantial milestone for the construction project and forms part of testing that is currently ongoing on the full line. 

During this historic event, the tram was followed by hundreds of interested members of the public, journalists and several officials from the project, City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Trams Ltd.  The twitter-sphere was awash with comments throughout the night and the successful test was received positively. 

The 42-metre long tram emerged from Haymarket tramstop at 11pm and continued at walking pace, surrounded by engineers, arriving at Princes Street tramstop shortly before midnight. The tram then made its way along the remainder of the route, finally arriving at its terminus at York place at 12:45am. There were many smiles and photos taken at that moment! We then ran the tram at walking pace back to Haymarket before speeding it up for the journey back to the depot at Gogar. Throughout the test engineers carefully took measurements and monitored the track and overhead electrification to make sure everything worked as it should. 

Transport Convener Lesley Hinds said:

"Getting a tram onto Princes Street is the culmination of an intensive period of hard work to get it back on track. It is an important step forward but all eyes are now on the launch of passenger services in May."

Billy Adams, the lead tram driver for this test run, said:

"It’s a great honour to have driven the first Edinburgh Tram into the city centre for over half a century – It was also great to see so many well wishers beside the tram waving and cheering us on our way." 

There will be many more runs from now until passenger service, which will see all the technical and engineering hurdles cleared ahead of passengers boarding our trams.

Tom Norris, our Director and General Manager commented:

"Tonight is the start of what is a detailed and robust testing process over the coming weeks and months. We have been delighted with the public response to our first test on-street. That said, there is still a long way to go and we will be working very hard to make sure all our people, processes and policies are fully tested before we start passenger service in May next year."