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Edinburgh Tram Project




Transport for Edinburgh


Transportation / Railway



The construction of Edinburgh tram began in June 2008, and after encountering delays it opened on 31 May 2014. Construction to extend the line was approved in March 2019 and is opening in 2022, however the current tram line remains operational at this time. 


Operated by Edinburgh Trams Ltd from 2017, Edinburgh Trams is a 14-kilometre (8.7 mi) line between York Place in the New Town and Edinburgh Airport, with 15 stops. Services usually run every 7 minutes throughout the entire line. 

Edinburgh Council stated on 17 March 2014 that works would be conducted along Leith Walk to prepare it for a possible future extension of tram service. In December 2014, Edinburgh Council ordered a detailed business case for extending the line to Leith. The council said that three options for an extension to Leith had been costed in july 2015. These were a £144.7 million extension to Newhaven, a £126.6 million extension to Ocean Terminal, or a £78.7 million extension to the Foot of Leith Walk.

The business case to extend the system to Newhaven was approved in 2017. In March 2019, Edinburgh Council approved extending the system from York Place to Newhaven, with the intention of opening the new line in early 2023. Preliminary works to Constitution Street and Leith Walk started in November 2019. Work was suspended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic but was restarted in June 2020.


There have been trams in Edinburgh as early as 1871, which served the Edinburgh and Leith area and were drawn by horses. These were later replaced by cable-hauled systems, with electric traction taking over in 1905. These double-decker trams were painted dark red and white – the colours still used by Lothian buses and the Edinburgh trams we see today.


During this journey of development, Kite supplied Edinburgh Tram with Handrail Systems at many of its stops, both to protect technicians running their regular checks and to facilitate the movement of tram users when they are getting on and off stop points. The hand-railing system was fitted on levelled and sloped floors in different areas to maintain safety. 


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