Edinburgh finally gets its trams

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Edinburgh’s long-awaited light rail system is now transporting passengers around the city almost 60 years after the original tram network was decommissioned.

On Saturday, May 31, the network, which connects the airport with York Place in the city centre, officially opened to the public.

Originally due to open in 2011, the project has suffered a number of setbacks financially and politically which have resulted in ambitions being scaled back and budgets scaled up.

A special ride out gave officials the opportunity to celebrate a success story in the project’s delivery. Two of the guests on the day included Norman Steven and Alastair Byres who were on the final tram ride in 1956.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The people of Edinburgh and local businesses will be relieved to start seeing the real benefits of a modern tram system.

“Although today (May 30) is clouded by what happened in the early stages of the project, since being involved we have worked with the council and the contractor to get it back on track.”

Just over 14 kilometres of the original 18.5-kilometre network has been delivered so far. Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said there were no immediate plans to extend the line but that future plans would be reviewed after six months.


  1. The real shame is the damage this has done to the reputation of trams. Getting any tram project financed in other cities is going to be so much harder.


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