The Anonymous Widower

Edinburgh’s Tram Infrastructure Goes In

The infrastructure for the new Edinburgh tram line appears to be substantially installed.

I still have doubts that the design of the lines isn’t the best.

Edinburgh is an important city architecturally and I do wonder if the trams should be like they are in Seville; without overhead wires. I can see the day, when all city centre trams will be like those Spanish ones.  it would certainly make building the systems a lot simpler.

It does strike me too, that now I can see where the tram route goes, does it go close enough to the main station at Waverley? I asked in an earlier post, why the trams don’t go over the North Bridge in front of the station.  It would appear that the original Edinburgh trams did, from a map I’ve seen. These days too, modern trams are much better at climbing hills, as they do regularly in cities like Geneva.

Perhaps Edinburgh’s biggest mistake with the trams was to start them when they did.  If you were designing a system now, it would be much simpler and less disruptive to install and probably a lot cheaper too!

October 24, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Cambridge Busway Troubles

The Cambridge Busway may be running fairly well now, but it still seems to cause trouble for politicians, as this report shows.

At least though the Edinburgh Tram has come along to give the busway company in the book of bad projects.

January 7, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Edinburgh Gets A New Tram

Edinburgh has now got a new tram, that apparently could easily be run up and down Princes Street, which is more than the new electric ones can do.

The trouble is that it’s a replica of a nineteenth century Edinburgh horse tram, which was made from a garden shed.  Read about the full story here.

I know the budget for the new tram is a bit tight, but isn’t this taking things a bit too far to save money.

August 20, 2012 Posted by | Transport | | Leave a comment

St. Pancras, Kings Cross and Edinburgh Waverley Stations

St. Pancras and Kings Cross stations sit above one of the biggest Underground stations in London; Kings Cross St. Pancras. Over the last few years, the moles have been burrowing deep under and between the stations to make the access between all three stations, accessible for those in wheel-chairs and with heavy cases. It’s not perfect, especially, if you want to make a quick transfer to an Underground line, but it’s a lot better than it was.

Edinburgh Waverley has always been difficult for passengers, unless you arrive and leave in a taxi, as walking up the famous Waverley Steps has not been easy for anybody with a mobility problem. Network Rail are improving the station, by glazing the enormous roof properly with clear glass to get more light into the station and installing lifts to improve disabled access. You’d think the installation of lifts would be welcomed, but I was surprised to read this article in the Edinburgh Guide. Here’s an extract.

Two 16-person lifts now descend to Waverley from the roof of the Princes Mall. Also, as part of the “Waverley Steps Improvement Project” a new covered step and escalator access has been put in between Princes Street and the north entrance to Waverley station.

“The ‘Windy Steps’ have been given a vital upgrade and are now accessible and convenient for all passengers,” said David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, of the “stylish and bright” new entrance.

Personally, I liked it the way things were. Trudging up and down the broad staircase of the well-worn stone slabs of Waverley Steps, there was a sense of walking in the footsteps of millions of travellers before me.

Lifts and escalators leave me cold. The building materials have little of the traditional quality or aesthetic of Edinburgh’s New Town and Old Town architecture. The machinery usually requires large amounts of energy (more CO2 emissions), seeing as they are running all day.

They are, frankly, utilitarian and ugly.

That gives me the impression, that they think things should have been left the way they are.

I travel extensively by train and if you look at Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Newcastle, Sheffield and London Paddington and Waterloo, all have been or are being upgraded to improve the passenger experience.

I suppose the writer would perhaps prefer Edinburgh Waverley to revert to diesel or even steam power for the trains, as they are more in keeping with the history of Edinburgh.

August 18, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Edinburgh Tram Fiasco Continues

Over the last few years, there have been several local transport prjects in the UK. Most like the London Overground have been completed on time and on budget, with one in London the DLR Extension to Stratford International being a year late.

Two major projects though have gone seriously over budget; the Cambridge Busway and the Edinburgh Tram.

The former is now up and running and most of the reports are positive. Extra buses are supposedly being ordered to cope with demand. But it will be easier to sort out the problems of the cost overruns for a success than a failure.

But the Edinburgh Tram fiasco continues according to this report on the BBC. So for a large cost overrun, Edinburgh will  get what half they originally ordered.  When what they are now getting is completed, passengers arriving at the airport will be unable to take the tram to the City Centre to see the similarly half-finished National Monument. But at least the tram will serve the headquarters of the Royal Bank of UK Taxpayers at Gogar!

At least it has given a lot of work for consultants and material for comedians at the Festival.

August 28, 2011 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Edinburgh’s Best Joke

This one from Nick Helm has been voted Edinburgh’s best joke according to the BBC.

I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

I always thought that Edinburgh’s best joke was the tram!

August 25, 2011 Posted by | News, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Edinburgh’s Second Disgrace

The National Monument on Calton Hill in Edinburgh is unfinished and according to Wikipedia it is often known as Edinburgh’s Disgrace Folly. I’ve never heard any of my friends in Edinburgh call it a folly.

This morning the BBC is discussing the new Edinburgh Trams, as the Council is deciding today, whether to complete or abandon the project.  The BBC reporter, who is from north of the border, has just called the trams, Edinburgh’s Second Disgrace.

June 30, 2011 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Edinburgh Tram Stalls

That is the headline in Modern Railways this month.

They reckon that there might be enough money left to complete the Edinburgh Tram from Edinburgh Airport to Haymarket, but say some politicians want to kill the whole project off.  Wikipedia describes the whole sorry mess.

Apparently, Starbucks or was it Costa, has made a proposal to convert the tram marooned in Princes Street into a coffee shop.

October 24, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Edinburgh’s Tram To Nowhere

I do not like badly conceived and managed projects, as you’d expect from someone, who designed one of the first modern project mangement systems.  I had thought that there was nothing that could match the Cambridge Busway for being badly designed, managed and executed project. But it would appear that the Edinburgh Tram, may come close.

Strangely, the two projects have a lot in common; both will be about 40 kilometres long ,both are running years late and massively over budget. Although the Edinburgh Tram will cost six times more than the Cambridge Busway.

They also get up the public’s nose spectacularly.  In the Cambridge case, buses proclaim, “Will I be on the Busway soon?” and in Edinburgh, a static tram is parked to block Princes Street.

The Edinburgh Static Tram

I suppose the static tram does have a point, in that it makes getting a bus in the centre of Edinburgh very difficult, so by the time the tram comes into service in 2014, people will be more likely to use the tram.  That could be the only reason, as what idiot would deliberately create a traffic jam with something that doesn’t work. Even those twats with 4x4s and supercars get parking tickets, when they block the roads outside Harrods! Why hasn’t someone stuck a parking ticket on the tram?

To make it worse, I saw this sign too!

Edinburgh Road Sign

So trams can turn right, despite the fact the only one is static!

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 2 Comments