Depot handover marks major milestone for Edinburgh Trams

A major milestone in the Edinburgh Trams project has been reached today with an event to mark the official handover of the Gogar depot to the Council.

The depot will be home to the entire tram fleet and will also act as the network control centre when the service goes live in 2014.

The project has secured around 600 jobs - 500 working on construction and a further 100 posts involved in operating and maintaining the network once in operation.The depot is fully electrified and testing has been taking place for the last week on the five trams that have already been delivered.

Cllr Jenny Dawe, council leader, City of Edinburgh Council: "Looking around the depot, it is clear that we have a world class facility from which to run the tram network.

"We are already well into the testing programme and it was a real boost to see the trams in motion along the test track today - a very visible indication of the momentum we have built up over the past few months.

"There is now much more clarity surrounding the tram project, particularly as we now have a detailed programme of works in place, and I very much hope this continues as we move toward the final completion date of summer 2014."

The Scottish Government, through Transport Scotland, is supporting the Council for the final stages of the Edinburgh trams project. Minister for Housing and Transport Keith Brown, said: "It is encouraging to see the focus now firmly back on delivery with the first trams moving on the test track. This is an important milestone for the project and demonstrates what has been achieved through the City Council working alongside Transport Scotland and the contractor in the last few months."

Four tram drivers are currently working on site and will be continuing to test the existing fleet in the months ahead. Graeme Healy (37) from Edinburgh is the fleet's first driver. He said he was glad to be part of the project:

"I am proud to be able to say that I am the first of the city's next generation of tram drivers. I did my initial training in Nottingham and will be training the other drivers that come on board throughout 2012, which is something I'm really looking forward to."

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