Newhaven trams launched
Posted on 8th June 2023 at 16:14
The first paying customers boarded the service, operated by Edinburgh Trams, between Newhaven and Picardy Place (and onward to Edinburgh Airport) at 12pm midday.
To celebrate the occasion, a piper accompanied the first tram into the Picardy Place tram stop while members of Edinburgh’s Dance Base centre for dance performed a specially choreographed ‘tram ballet’. Council Leaders were joined by local school pupils to officially open the tram for service.
The 2.9 mile, eight stop route, which has been under construction since November 2019, has been delivered on schedule and within the £207.3m budget.
Over recent months rigorous testing to ensure the newly constructed line, software and signals work effectively and safely has included running trams at half and full speed and eventually to timetable, work to integrate signalling and interface with Edinburgh Trams’ control centre and driver familiarisation.
Council Leader Cammy Day said: “I’m delighted to be playing a part in this momentous occasion – the launch of tram passenger services between Picardy Place and Newhaven. It’s a real landmark moment for Edinburgh, as we bring this high capacity, sustainable and reliable service to the north of the city.
“I know many will share in my excitement, and optimism for the benefits this development will provide. We’ve already seen vast improvements to spaces along the route and long-term I’m looking forward to the impact it will have on the local economy, which even now we’re starting to see.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who live and own businesses along the route. They have shown such patience and resilience shown throughout this major, complex project and now I hope that they will really gain from the new service.
“This is also a chance to reflect on the hard work of those who have delivered this scheme. Thanks to the project team’s dedication, despite the challenges of recent years, I’m proud to say Trams to Newhaven has been delivered on time and within the £207.3m budget.”
Lea Harrison, Edinburgh Trams Managing Director, said: “The opening of the route will mark another momentous day for the city, and the entire Edinburgh Trams team stands ready to bring its acclaimed brand of service excellence to tens of thousands of new customers in the communities it serves.
“We’re also looking forward to delivering a real boost for local businesses, providing a convenient transport link between the city centre and some of Edinburgh’s most densely populated neighbourhoods, as well as key locations such as Ocean Terminal and Port of Leith.
“With trams from every seven minutes between 6am and midnight, seven days a week, our expanded tram timetable will help firms large and small to attract new business while helping their employees get to and from work.”
To mark the event, the earliest passengers were able to purchase a ‘platinum’ tram tickets from machines at Picardy Place and Newhaven tram stops while Pulse of the Place, a 30 strong vibrant youth samba band based in north Edinburgh, performed around the Newhaven tram stop.
The Guard of Honour from the High Constabulary of the Port of Leith to welcomed the tram into the historic Burgh of Leith wearing full parade dress, including top hats, whistles and ceremonial batons.
While the project opened for revenue services today, outstanding public realm works will continue in some sections.
Edinburgh's trams traverse the newest Newhaven extension (ET)
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