© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2014
The return of trams to the streets of Scotland’s capital has
not been without controversy - over schedule, over budget,
and (compared to the original plans) incomplete. But let’s
put that aside - there’s now a rather superior way of
travelling much of the length of Princes Street (and one or
This wasn’t a well-planned trip - more of a flying visit (though
we wouldn’t be visiting the airport). We were driving down from
the north, and would be arriving on the outskirts of Edinburgh a
couple of hours before we needed to be at our final destination
in the city. Armed with no more than a road atlas, and more by
good luck than judgement, we found our way to South Gyle, and
a parking space within yards of the Gyle Centre tramstop. By the
time we’d bought a couple of £3.50 City Zone DAYtickets, a tram
was arriving, and we were off.
The tramway runs from the airport to the centre of Edinburgh,
mostly along reserved ways (some, interestingly, grassed over).
Soon after rounding the back of Haymarket, it takes to the
streets, running along Princes Street before swinging left into St
Andrew Street, turning right at the end into York Place, the city
terminus. The original plan was for the lines to continue beyond
into Leith Walk and on to the Ocean Terminal at the docks.
Perhaps, one day, that might happen. The terminus consists of a
single platform, with pointwork to enable the tram cross to the
opposite track when it begins its run back to the airport.
Happily, the pointwork to enable an onward connection to Leith
has also been installed...
We had a most enjoyable trip - the new trams run very smoothly
and quietly, they are comfortable and clean. One feels slightly
superior to those lesser mortals in the buses alongside in the city
centre. Despite the trials and tribulations, this feels like a
transport facility the city can be proud of.
Link: Edinburgh Trams