Trams to Newhaven passenger services launched
Passenger services on Edinburgh’s new tram line to Newhaven have been launched with the help of the community along the route today – 7th June 2023.
The first paying customers boarded the service, operated by Edinburgh Trams, between Newhaven and Picardy Place, and onward to Edinburgh Airport, at 12pm.
As part of a joint venture, Sacyr, Farrans and Neopul (SFN) has delivered the Main Infrastructure & Systems Contract for the City of Edinburgh Council for the Edinburgh Tram to Newhaven project.
The 2.9 mile, eight stop route, which has been under construction since November 2019, has been delivered on schedule.
Over recent months rigorous testing to ensure the newly constructed line, software and signals work effectively and safely has included running trams at half and full speed and eventually to timetable, work to integrate signalling and interface with Edinburgh Trams’ control centre and driver familiarisation.
Maria Ortega, Project Director on SFN JV, said: “This is a proud day for the Sacyr Farrans Neopul (SFN) JV team as we celebrate the new line coming into operation. We started work on Edinburgh Trams York Place to Newhaven four years ago, tasked with the delivery of one of the most important and complex light rail projects in the UK. Today we can say that we have achieved that vision successfully.
“I would like to thank the relentless efforts of our team throughout unprecedented times and recognise the power of the ongoing collaboration we have had with our client, our partners and our supply chain.
“It has been a privilege to operate within the communities of Leith and Newhaven and we extend our thanks to the local community.
“We hope that the City of Edinburgh will now begin to benefit from the wide-ranging social and economic benefits that a project of this significance will bring.”
Council Leader Cammy Day said: “I’m delighted to be playing a part in this momentous occasion – the launch of tram passenger services between Picardy Place and Newhaven. It’s a real landmark moment for Edinburgh, as we bring this high capacity, sustainable and reliable service to the north of the city.
“I know many will share in my excitement, and optimism for the benefits this development will provide. We’ve already seen vast improvements to spaces along the route and long-term I’m looking forward to the impact it will have on the local economy, which even now we’re starting to see.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who live and own businesses along the route. They have shown such patience and resilience shown throughout this major, complex project and now I hope that they will really gain from the new service.
“This is also a chance to reflect on the hard work of those who have delivered this scheme. Thanks to the project team’s dedication, despite the challenges of recent years, I’m proud to say Trams to Newhaven has been delivered on time and within the £207.3m budget.”
Lea Harrison, Edinburgh Trams Managing Director, said: “The opening of the route will mark another momentous day for the city, and the entire Edinburgh Trams team stands ready to bring its acclaimed brand of service excellence to tens of thousands of new customers in the communities it serves.
“We’re also looking forward to delivering a real boost for local businesses, providing a convenient transport link between the city centre and some of Edinburgh’s most densely populated neighbourhoods, as well as key locations such as Ocean Terminal and Port of Leith.
“With trams from every seven minutes between 6am and midnight, seven days a week, our expanded tram timetable will help firms large and small to attract new business while helping their employees get to and from work.”
To mark the event, the earliest passengers will be able to purchase ‘platinum’ tram tickets from machines at Picardy Place and Newhaven tram stops while Pulse of the Place, a vibrant youth samba band based in north Edinburgh, performed around the Newhaven tram stop.
The Guard of Honour from the High Constabulary of the Port of Leith stood at Pilrig Street to welcome the tram into the historic Burgh of Leith wearing full parade dress, including top hats, whistles and ceremonial batons.
While the project will open for revenue services on 7 June 2023, outstanding public realm works will continue in some sections.