Scotland: Edinburgh’s public light rail (tram) system opens

Scotland: Edinburgh’s public light rail (tram) system opens

The cost of the project was originally earmarked at £375m ($628.65 million) but has since reached £770m ($1.29 billion). However, interest costs that still have to be paid on loans raised to complete the project could take its final cost to more than £1bn ($1.67 billion).

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More than 21,000 passengers on first day of trams

Edinburgh Tram

Edinburgh Evening News

TRAM bosses have revealed that more than 21,000 tickets were sold to passengers on the first day of operation.

People eager to become part of history by taking a ride on the first Edinburgh trams since 1956 flocked to the stops and packed themselves on to the over-crowded trams on Saturday.

Reinforcement trams had to be brought in due to their popularity.

Nine trams were in operation initially, but bosses had to put on an extra three to cope with demand.

The trams continued to be popular today, with queues of people waiting to board at Gyle, Princes Street and York Place.

Transport leader Lesley Hinds said: “Yesterday was an extraordinary day for Edinburgh Trams with many thousands coming out to try the new service.

“The sun was shining and this contributed to the turnout and to a fantastic atmosphere.

“It’s important to remember that these are very early days indeed but the enthusiasm is and support is encouraging.

“We hope that people are getting a feel for what the tram service is all about and of how they can be of benefit to them personally.”

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Edinburgh trams begin taking paying passengers

By David O’Leary
Edinburgh Evening News

EDINBURGH’S long-awaited trams have finally begun to take paying passengers.

Crowds packed on to the first tram in Edinburgh since 1956 at 5am with a party atmosphere on board.

The landmark day for the project follows six years of building work and well-documented problems.

By lunchtime, bosses were forced to draft in extra trams due to passenger demand – three trams leaving Gogar to join with the nine already in service. Long queues were seen at stops as city residents flock to get on board.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, however, as a faulty ticket machine on York Place apparently also led to long queues.

Protesters meanwhile converged on Princes Street and unveiled posters demanding a public inquiry into the project.

But the trams were hailed as “absolutely fantastic” by one of the travellers on the very first service.

Tram enthusiasts Marjory Broom, 59, and her husband George, 63, were on board as the first service left the Gyle.

Mrs Broom, her husband and their son Christopher, 31, were excited to be on the first tram early this morning.

She said: “We’re all tram enthusiasts so we’ve been following the progress of the trams for some time.

“I thought they were fantastic, absolutely fantastic. It was chock-a-block, and it was a real carnival atmosphere on board with people cheering as the tram set off.”

She added “We’ve been on trams all over the world and the tram in Edinburgh today was really, really smooth. It was the first tram and it was standing room only, it was very, very busy.

“I’m really excited we managed to get on – there would have been no buzz being on the second tram.”

The family all travelled on the first tram as it went from the Gyle to York Place, before heading out to Edinburgh Airport and then back to the Gyle.

Mr Broom added: “The Edinburgh trams, I think they are the best I’ve been on, they’re very very wide and very, very smooth. I think they will be very succesful. We just have to hope they extend the service so it goes down to Leith and possibly even Granton, then it would be a proper network.”

He added: “It was great to see the trams have finally arrived, it was good to go along Princes Street on the first tram, looking up at Edinburgh Castle with the sun shining.”

Also on the first tram was city council transport convener Lesley Hinds, who conceded the transport project had been “hugely challenging” but said there was now “growing positivity” about the trams.

“Two years ago, I pledged to do everything in my power to ensure we brought this project in on the revised budget and revised schedule,” she said

“It was never going to be straightforward, but with an incredible team effort and a focus on results, it now feels fantastic to be where we are today.”

A spokesman for Edinburgh Trams said that they were experiencing “bedding in issues” in regards a faulty ticket machine on York Place.

He said: “We have drafted in extra ticketing services assistants to help people with purchasing their ticket. It is a new service and we would ask members of the public that notice a problem to flag it up with a staff member.”

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Video: Edinburgh’s controversial new tram system finally launches

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Video: Edinburgh Tram launch

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Video: Edinburgh Trams- First day of operation, first tram departs the Gyle Centre

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Video: Edinburgh Tram 275 Leaving Edinburgh Airport

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Video: Edinburgh Tram launch

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Video: Edinburgh First Edinburgh Tram arrives in York Place

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Video: Edinburgh Tram tour

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Edinburgh Tram

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Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Edinburgh Map

Edinburgh Tram map

Edinburgh Tram

Edinburgh Tram Time

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Edinburgh Tram

Edinburgh Tram

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