As Edinburgh Trams prepares for a landmark anniversary, its dedicated team has kicked off the celebrations by reflecting on what it felt like to bring trams back to the city after over 50 years.

At 5.00 am on Friday, May 31, it will be exactly 10 years since the first passenger service unit ran from Gyle Centre to York Place, launching a decade of award-winning success for the popular tramway.

Tram 275 - 2014 launch

The eagerly awaited launch followed years of construction as well as rigorous testing, commissioning, and training to ensure the newly constructed line, software, and signals worked effectively and safely.

First testing & Commissioning

2014 testing & commissioning

Tram Driver Sharon Peat, who was a Ticketing Service Assistant at the time, recalls how the public warmly welcomed the trams into the city on the day.

Sharon Peat

Being on board on the first day of service was an exciting time for every one of us as it was a completely new experience. The trams were so busy, but the passengers were all pretty excited, she said.

It is still great when you have customers who have travelled with us from day one who you’ve built up a rapport with, and they give you a friendly wave and a wee chat when possible.

Maurycy Ptaszynski, another Edinburgh Trams Driver, said: 

It was a beautiful day. The first thing I did was to drive to the Gyle to see how many people had gathered at half four in the morning. I was a little bit anxious, but successfully drove the third tram on the mainline and I remember it was really busy. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years!


Throughout the years, Edinburgh Trams has won more than a dozen awards, a testament to the role it plays in the lives of local people, visitors and the city’s economy.

Lea Harrison, the operator’s Managing Director, commented: 

Lea Harrison

Prior to joining Edinburgh Trams, I visited the new tramway with some colleagues from Nottingham’s tram network to see the system in action for the first time. The city was buzzing and the platforms were heaving. I remember thinking how much potential the tramway had to improve the way people move around the city.

A few years later, following the completion of tram extensions in Nottingham, I returned to Edinburgh to lead a team that has since built on its initial success.

Thanks to their commitment to customers, we’ve seen passenger numbers double since the opening of the extended line to Newhaven last year, and the city has a world-class tram system that it can be really proud of.