Tow truck called as tram rescue foiled by hill

The tram is towed away. Picture: Duncan J Edelsten

The tram is towed away. Picture: Duncan J Edelsten

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There were farcical scenes in the city centre after a broken down tram had to be rescued by another – only for both trams to become stuck.

The initial breakdown at the corner of York Place and St Andrew Square at around 8.50am yesterday snarled traffic to tail back on to Queen Street during morning rush hour.

Police were called to help guide cars around the stricken tram, which was not removed until around 10.20am.

A Transport for Edinburgh spokesman said the tram had suffered a “power issue” and needed to be towed back to the depot at Gogar.

However, the accident descended into farce when the tram that was dispatched to rescue the stranded vehicle became stuck itself.

Caught by a traffic signal turning red while halfway up the hill, the rescue tram struggled to get moving again and engineers decided that rather than risking any slippage, a specialist tow truck should be summoned to get both trams on their way.

The trams are backed up. Picture: Gordon Wilson

The trams are backed up. Picture: Gordon Wilson

A spokesman for Transport for Edinburgh said: “One of our trams broke down at York Place but we maintained services between west end Princes Street and the airport throughout and the full route was operational by mid-morning.

“We recognise that this isn’t representative of our usually reliable service and we apologise for any inconvenience.

“We’ll be working with our partners to understand specifically what went wrong with the tram.”

The breakdown is causing problems. Picture: Callum Madge

The breakdown is causing problems. Picture: Callum Madge

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