First tram tested along Princes Street

Posted: 5 December 2013 | City of Edinburgh Council | No comments yet

Councillor Lesley Hinds welcomed the successful testing of a tram between Haymarket and York Place…

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Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s Transport Convener, today (Thursday 5 December 2013) welcomed the successful testing of a tram between Haymarket and York Place.

The first tram to be tested in the city centre was run in the early hours of this morning. It travelled at walking pace and was accompanied along the route by a number of engineers who undertook a variety of checks as it passed.

Councillor Hinds said: “Getting a tram onto Princes Street is the culmination of an intensive period of hard work to get this project back on track. It is an important step forward but all eyes are now on the launch of passenger services in May.

“With the first successful test last night in the city centre, we’re ready for more frequent testing along the length of the route in the New Year.

“Everyone needs to get used to the trams as they become part of daily life in the city and once the testing steps up a gear early next year we’ll extend our ongoing safety campaign to ensure all road users are aware of how to share the city safely with trams.

“It’s important to recognise the significance of this test phase. There is much to be done and we’re at a vital stage in project, ensuring that all the appropriate tests and checks are done.”

As testing progresses over the coming weeks the frequency and speed of trams will increase, although prior to the New Year there are likely to be very few runs.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The successful test runs on Princes Street and at Haymarket over the past few days are welcome landmarks for the tram project.

“Seeing the trams operating in the city centre is a sign of real progress for the project, following the delays and frustration of the past.

“This is another major step toward next May when the trams will be up and running for passengers. Along with the redevelopment of Haymarket and Waverley stations, Edinburgh will very soon have the tram system it has long been promised.”

People are being reminded to take the following safety precautions:

  • Trams move quietly and quickly, with a top speed of 70kmh (45mph) on off road sections. Speed limits apply on the road.
  • Look both ways at tram crossing locations for passing trams and other vehicles.
  • Tram crossings should be treated like any other traffic signal controlled junction, where yellow box keep clear areas, road signs and traffic signals should be obeyed.
  • Overhead power lines are live at all times at 750V dc so do not go near them.
  • Children should be supervised and dogs should be kept on leads around tram crossing locations.

The project remains in line with the revised budget (£776m) approved by the Council in September 2011, with work either ahead of schedule or in line with the revised timescale reported in December 2011.

The Council’s project team has forecast that the service will be up and running for passengers by May 2014, two months earlier than the original summer 2014 target.

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