EDINBURGH TRAM INFO – The Tramcars
(For details of the trams in service please see seperate page)
Page last updated Q2 2016
The initial contract was for 27 trams with an option of an additional 4 provided they were ordered while the construction of the trams was on going.
Despite the reduction in the initial scope for the tram network all of the 27 trams, having been ordered, arrived during 2011 and 2012, and are stationed in the Gogar Depot. The trams were supplied by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) of Spain. They beat off competition for the supply by successful tender against Alstom, Bombardier, and Siemens.
The 27 trams are numbered from 251 through to 277. The manufacturers web site can be found here: www.caf.es
An initial surplus of 10 trams has arisen due to the contraction of the line, to York Place instead of Newhaven, until the further line phases are eventually delivered. Due to the unique nature of the vehicles early plans to lease or sell them have not materialised.
The first tram, Number 252 arrived and was in public display in Princes Street from 28th April 2010. The second Number 277 arrived on 17th October 2011 and went straight to the Depot at Gogar for storage then test running before entering service.
The trams are 42856 mm long, they carry up to 250 passengers (manufacturer specification was 332, 80 seats and 252 standing, but amended for Edinburgh route traffic requirements), they have low level floors allowing easy access for the less able or those with prams, buggies, pushchairs and bicycles. The top speed is 70 km/h (original specification was 80km/h but reduced as it was allegedly not possible to gain this speed on the line as built), standard 1435 mm gauge, with 750v DC overhead supply.
The trams consist of 7 articulated carbodies supported on 4 bogies. Constructed of ferritic stainless steel on the side panels and the roof, and corten steel on the under frame. They have 6 doors on both sides and are bi-directional (i.e. they don't need to be turned at the terminus and can be driven from either end). Vehicle height is 3400 mm, exterior width is 2650 mm, and low floor height 350 mm. Access height is at 300mm. Start up speed 1.2m / s2, with total power 12 x 80 kW.
The end bogies are motorised along with one of the intermediate ones. The other intermediate bogie is a "trailer". The motor bogies have 4 motors, fitted in longitudinal direction, and entirely suspended. They are equipped with resilient wheels, rubber primary suspension, and coil and spring secondary suspension.
The trams when delivered were fitted with night doors, which would allow reduction of the available space inside the tram during off peak times. This feature has not been used in service.
Above : Diagram shows the postioning of the night doors.
Below : Full seating plan
CCTV is in place for safety reasons. Information screens in the trams will show the next stop information, journey times, places of interest and advertisements.
The Trams are owned by the City of Edinburgh Council who also operate Lothian Buses. Livery is the same for all modes of transport. Lothian Buses and the Edinburgh Trams are operated by an arm’s length company, Transport for Edinburgh. Branding was confirmed in December 2013, with different colours within the same logo.
We have seen four versions of livery for the Trams.
1. Mock up in the harlequin bus livery
2. White with "Edinburgh Trams" on front below cab window
3. White as delivered
4. Transport for Edinburgh plantinum design unveiled 17 12 13.
These two photographs show the Transport for Edinburgh livery at the unveiling in St Andrew Square on 17th December 2013, and were provided by Alasdair McFarlane.
Through ticketing is available with the buses and trams. It was always envisaged that tickets would be purchased in advance out with the trams. This makes it the only British Tram System where tickets were purchased only out with the vehicle. Due to vandalism, theft, and anti-social behaviour all other systems have withdrawn most ticket issuing machines at stations or platforms. A conductor and driver are on all vehicles. The conductor will issue tickets "standard fare tickets" only at a cost of £10. A penalty fare system of £40 or 10 times the single fare is mentioned in the original Act of Parliament subject to Scottish Ministers approval, but this aspect has not been taken forward. Pre-purchase of tickets or season tickets will speed up the journey time (as anyone using the one man ticket and driver operation provided by the local bus company will have experienced) as less waiting at stops will be required.
Concessionary fares for retired passengers are consistent with the Scottish Government scheme but only for those resident in Edinburgh. The fares are being subsidised by the City of Edinburgh Council and therefore restricted to Edinburgh residents.
Some other concessionary tickets are valid - check details before travel.
Advertised journey time is 20 minutes from the airport into town, and 35 minutes from one end of the line from the Airport to York Place.
Initial testing of two trams took place at the Siemens test track in Wildenrath, near Dusseldorf, in Germany in March 2010.
The following four photographs are courtesy of C.A.F.
Power to the overhead lines within the Depot at Gogar went live just before being handed over to the Council on 15th December 2011. A mini test track section between the Gogar Depot and the bridge near to the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters saw the first stage of tram testing at the beginning of December 2011.
Tram No 277 was the first to travel on its own power from the Depot to the Airport stop at Edinburgh International Airport on 12th December 2012.
The completed section from the depot to the Airport was handed over to The City of Edinburgh Council in March 2013.
The 27 trams are numbered from 251 through to 277. Number 252 was the first to arrive in April 2010 and the last one to arrive on 19th December 2012 was Number 269.
275 at Gogar depot
Please click on any image to view it at a larger scale. You will then be able to navigate forwards and backwards between photos or see them as a slide show.
From the official Edinburgh Trams, City of Edinburgh Council -
“Thank you for your email regarding the Edinburgh Tram fleet numbering system.
The fleet numbers are a continuation from the old tram system in Edinburgh, of which the number 250 was the last running tram.
Therefore to maintain a sequential numbering system, the new fleet numbers commenced with 251.
I hope this is of assistance.”
The position as far as we can determine is -
A batch of numbers was available from the bus fleet and 250 to 277 were retained for the new trams being delivered from CAF.
On a historical note the last run of the first generation trams took place on the evening of Friday 16th November 1956. Special tickets were issued for those wanting to travel in the last procession. The trams gathered at Braids to travel to Shrubhill. The leading Tram was number 228, followed by 229, 45, 227, 48, 83, 223, 224, 215, and 88. When number 88 was the only tram left it was met by tram number 172 (the white decorated last tram) which arrived in front. These two trams 172 and 88 were then met at Belhaven Terrace, near to Morningside Station, and followed at the rear by tram number 217 with local councillors and other dignitaries.
Edinburgh & District Tramways Co. Ltd. built the first prototype cable tram, number 112, in 1897. This company and laterally the Edinburgh Corporation Tramways Co. at their Shrubhill Works, built, or rebuilt, a total of 250 trams, the last one built was in 1950, and numbered 225.
Many of the first generation trams that ran in Edinburgh were purchased from other manufacturers and builders.
Some of these were -
The Brush Electrical Engineering Company Ltd., Loughborough;
Falcon Engine & Car Works, Loughborough (predecessor of Brush);
The Metropolitan Railway Carriage & Wagon Co. Ltd., Saltley, Birmingham;
G. F.Milnes & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead, Merseyside;
United Electric Car Co. Ltd., Preston.
The highest numbered Edinburgh Tram was Number 411. This was one of the former Manchester Trams in the batch 401 to 411.
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All photographic images and text are Copyright Chris O'Brien. Moral right are asserted