Oh, the Edinburgh tram works. The bane of our life, the reason why it takes 40-50 minutes to get into the city centre nowadays. It has been the theme of most of our complaints, especially for those in Leith and Newhaven. However, the wait should finally be over soon: according to Edinburgh Council, testing of the new line is on track to begin in early 2023.
What is left to do?
While most of the construction works are being done in October, November and December will be the time for the energisation of the new overhead lines. The plan, for now, is to electrify the stops between St Andrew Square and Elm Row at the end of November, following with the rest of the line ending with Newhaven tram stop in December.
To allow the energisation to happen, power will have to be cut off. Therefore, there will also be a four-day period at the end of November where the trams will stop at West End.
The actual construction will be wrapping up until December, and the final concrete pours have already started at Rennie’s Isle and Melrose Drive. After the section between Picardy Place to Newhaven will be laid out, only the small section at York Place will be left to do. The exact plans of when the York Place junction will be closed are still unknown.
Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener said: “Both the electrification of overhead lines along the entire Trams to Newhaven route and final concrete pours are major milestones for this important Council project, and signal the final touches being made before we see trams on Leith Walk and beyond.
Of course, I’m also appreciative of local residents and businesses for their patience during this time. I’m confident that the finished scheme will be extremely beneficial to the community, transforming the streetscape, boosting the economy and proving reliable, sustainable journeys to and from the city centre.”
When should the trams to Newhaven start running?
According to current estimates, the last bits of finishing touches should be finished by January 2023, so this looks like good news for the testing to go ahead in early 2023. As long as everything continues to go to plan with the Edinburgh tram works, our suffering could be over soon and Leith and Newhaven residents will be enjoying having a brand new tram stop right next to their house in Spring 2023. Roll on next Spring!