Edinburgh Tram developments

PaulLothian

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Useful update in the online Scotsman at http://www.scotsman.com/news/transp...-weeks-as-tram-project-gathers-pace-1-2446679

RORY REYNOLDS said:
Princes Street power lines to be installed in weeks as tram project gathers pace

OVERHEAD lines are to be installed in Princes Street within eight weeks, as new images suggest the tram route is finally beginning to take shape.

Contractors will begin to install one of the final pieces of that stretch when power lines are fitted in October.

Although the line will need to be linked with Shandwick Place in the east and St Andrew Square in the west, road and track works representing the bulk of the work on Princes Street are now largely complete.

Track laying is also underway at St Andrew Square, one of the main stops on the route, with overhead line installation and electrification works planned from October.

Construction work on some of the 11 bridges needed to connect parts of the route in the west of Edinburgh is also under way, with the laying of the main beams at the South Gyle Access and Water of Leith crossings scheduled for completion by Monday morning.

New aerial images taken of Edinburgh Airport also show work coming together.... (more)

It's a shame that the Edinburgh Trams website is not half as forthcoming about progress!

I particularly liked the following:
RORY REYNOLDS said:
Despite the apparent progress, the project has come under fire in recent weeks after the Evening News revealed that drivers are having to continually run the 18 vehicles around the test track at Gogar to prevent them seizing up.

The remaining nine vehicles will arrive by the end of this year and also need to be run around the 500-metre track. The action is intended to prevent the wheels from flattening should they stand still too long.'
Is there any grain of truth in the last sentence? If I had bought trams with soft wheels, I'd be sending them back!
 
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Waverley21

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Even when the project is going well, the Evening News will always scrape around for a moan. Evening News and Scotsman are masters of finding the most negative language possible.
When the York Place diversion started, they ran basically the same story every day for a week, with the barest twist of info to justify repeating the moans of the previous days.
 

WatcherZero

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Driver training started a few weeks ago around the depot however this newspaper article could simply be refering to normal warm storage practise where you run the vehicle at least once a week to stop it seizing up from inactivity.
 

kylemore

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Has anyone else noticed how far they are having to slew the tracks over towards the Portrait Gallery in North St. Andrew St? I wonder if the curators realise how close trundling trams will be to their Building with it's precious artworks!
Also how close the tracks are to Residential Buildings at Haymarket? From the train it looks as if the residents on the corner flats will have trams about six feet from their back windows!
All this smacks of shoe-horning and desperation in this disastrous scheme.
 

Bill EWS

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It's never really been any different! I recall when upstairs on a tram running the length of George Street and St Nicholas Street in Aberdeen you looked directly into every second storie sitting room. Many people hung screens to keep their privacy but many didn't.
 

DaveNewcastle

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. . . .
Also how close the tracks are to Residential Buildings at Haymarket? From the train it looks as if the residents on the corner flats will have trams about six feet from their back windows!
All this smacks of shoe-horning and desperation in this disastrous scheme.
That's exactly where the tram tracks were proposed over 5 years ago. There's no possible connection between your accusation of 'desperation' and 'disaster' and this choice route. You're fabricating that connection to suit your own agenda.

Anyway, another "six feet" away in the same direction is the main Edinburgh - Glasgow mainline railway, including all the additional rail movements between Haymarket depot and the stations, complete with noisy engines (which the trams won't have).

There is very much to be critical about in relation to this project's management and delivery. But that just isn't one of them.

Anyway, here's a nice picture of the trams at Gogar Depot from http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/news/?p=1403#more-1403.
 
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kylemore

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That's exactly where the tram tracks were proposed over 5 years ago. There's no possible connection between your accusation of 'desperation' and 'disaster' and this choice route. You're fabricating that connection to suit your own agenda.
My only agenda is wondering what £776m could have delivered for Edinburgh's tranport network in the hands of people who knew what they doing!

The sensible solution would have been to go up South St.Davids St and make a one way loop round St.Andrew SQ and back down South St.Andrew St to Princes St. The driver would not have to change ends, no reversing neccessary there could have been two tracks along the north side of the Square to accomodate trams waiting to depart or failures. That side could then be closed to traffic with minimal effect on traffic flow.

Instead 10s of £millions are being spent to get it round the corner to York place - not for any good traffic reason - but simply because they know that if they don't do that now there will be very little chance of pushing it onwards to Leith eventually.
 

DaveNewcastle

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From the end of this month (ca. Nov 26th), trams will run between the depot at Gogar and the airport for training and testing purposes. Thats a route length of a little under 2 miles which will be energised.
 
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From the end of this month (ca. Nov 26th), trams will run between the depot at Gogar and the airport for training and testing purposes. Thats a route length of a little under 2 miles which will be energised.
Has this actually happened? Ive seen no sign of any overhead wires yet on the route.
 

kylemore

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Yes I'm sure it'll look lovely and if you're a Tram enthusiast everythings rosy in the garden.

However nobody on here seems to be concerned that what we have here is an economic disaster of epic proportions setting back the cause of public transport improvements for Edinburgh not helping it.

There will be LESS development of Rail based solutions for Edinburgh because of this disastrous project NOT MORE!
 

jopsuk

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It's now at a sufficently advanced stage that argueing aginst it is rather pointless- it is happening, at massive expense and rather late, but it will be up and running at some point.
 

tbtc

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it will be up and running at some point
It will, and it ought to perform fairly well once up and running - whilst it's been delayed for a few years, I think that the route from the Airport into the City Centre is still going to be a fairly busy tram route - compare to Sheffield where the tram was planned to serve housing developments that were knocked down before the first tram ran (Kelvin Flats, Norfolk Park etc).

Maybe once it's been up and running for a couple of years it'll just be part of the furniture and we can all forget the badly managed project to get it built.
 

Liam

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My main problem with the trams is that they are completely unneccesary. The 22 bus, which the trams will relace, copes fine most of the time. Also what is the point of it serving the Airport? The tram will offer no time advantage over the 100 Airlink bus service and is ikely to be a lot quieter than the trams as the 100 is pick up only from the City.
 

the sniper

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From the end of this month (ca. Nov 26th), trams will run between the depot at Gogar and the airport for training and testing purposes. Thats a route length of a little under 2 miles which will be energised.
Has this actually happened? Ive seen no sign of any overhead wires yet on the route.
Yes, I think it started sometime last week.
Pictures here: http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/news/?p=2521
 

kylemore

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I'm sure the Evening News will never allow the bill to be forgotten about, but once the trams are running I reckon the line will do okay - it's only one line but it does serve enough places to be fairly busy.
Ah but the economics of this are such that "fairly busy" just isn't good enough.:cry:

Every Tram will have to at capacity load all day from 0600 to 2400, 365 days a year, year in, year out just to approach servicing and paying down the Debt never mind meeting operating costs!
 

tbtc

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Ah but the economics of this are such that "fairly busy" just isn't good enough.:cry:

Every Tram will have to at capacity load all day from 0600 to 2400, 365 days a year, year in, year out just to approach servicing and paying down the Debt never mind meeting operating costs!
I'm sure that the Evening News have got articles already written about that:

  • "The trams are half empty - that means not enough passengers to cover the debt"
  • "The trams are half full - that means they are dangerously overcrowded"

Look at the doom-mongers before the Cambridgeshire bus way - another badly managed project that seems to have run okay once in actual operation. We are pretty rubbish at project management in this country.
 

michael769

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The trams will be getting a full speed test run today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-20774654

Contractors are planning to run an Edinburgh Tram at full speed later as part of a process to ensure the system is ready for service in summer 2014.

The tram runs and system tests are the final part the development of the Gogar section of the route.

The 2.8km stretch will be handed over by contractors to the council in March following testing and commissioning.

Edinburgh Council's transport convener Lesley Hinds and Transport Minister Keith Brown will watch the tests.

The tests are due to start from the Gogar Farm Crossing at 09:00.
 

DaveNewcastle

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Much of the overhead wiring went up in the city centre last week, and, by coincidence perhaps, it was a sunny week. The combination of the two meant that the untarnished shiny copper-coloured wire used was positively glowing with an orange radiance!

I hope someone was taking pictures. I'm sure it will be becoming discoloured already.
 

61653 HTAFC

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Much of the overhead wiring went up in the city centre last week, and, by coincidence perhaps, it was a sunny week. The combination of the two meant that the untarnished shiny copper-coloured wire used was positively glowing with an orange radiance!

I hope someone was taking pictures. I'm sure it will be becoming discoloured already.
Or it'll get nicked! :lol:
 

DaveNewcastle

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Test trams to York Place by December 2013

Published Tuesday 17 September 2013

Plans have been set out for the handover of a section of the tram route between Gogar depot and Edinburgh Park Station for testing in early October with full route testing to take place in December.


“Our target for launch is now May 2014 but we’ll bring this forward if we can and we’ll announce a start date for the tram service when we’re 100% sure. There’s a major testing, commissioning and driver training programme to be done, work to be done on tram stops and, of course, a Scottish winter to get through.
from : http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/1324/test_trams_to_york_place_by_december_2013
 
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PaxVobiscum

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Transport Convener Lesley Hinds said: ....

(paragraph 5) “Our record of delivery and robust project management speaks for itself...."
Not sure I would have included that bit. :D
I suspect that most people are unlikely to remember the details of the management history of the trams project and will just think this is an astonishing statement given all the problems and delays.

However, good to have the completion in sight at last.
 

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