On March 13, trams roamed down Leith Walk for the very first time in 67 years, as the testing of the Trams to Newhaven line began overnight at walking speed. Recently, the engineers and drivers have also been testing the route out at full speed during the darker hours. And finally, a new stage of daytime testing came to fruition today (April 19), as the ghost trams were spotted during the day reaching speeds of up to 20mph.
Now, the daytime testing process of the trams will continue during the day from early mornings into the afternoons, with a total of 40 newly hired tram drivers ready to familiarise themselves with the route. The new recruits have been training in a simulator for a while, so I bet they’re glad to finally see some sun while getting some real-life action.
Over the next few weeks, testing should also amp up to make sure everything is up to par and we haven’t been suffering for nothing here in Leith (it’s been hard, folks). By the end of May, we should see a full timetable going up and down the new route before passengers will be taken on by June.
Councillor Scott Arthur, transport and environment convener, said: “Seeing trams running the length of Leith Walk and beyond during the day will give a real taste of the future of the route – this is an exciting moment. Of course, this is the first time that the new trams will be on the line in the daytime, so I would encourage everyone to take extra care when in the area.”
“We can now look forward to a green, high-capacity transport link between the centre and north of the city, which will transform travel along the route, help boost the economy and open up development opportunities.”
What is more, once the Trams to Newhaven are complete, it will be nice to be able to reach the airport without having to change on Princes Street.