Tram has reached Edinburgh airport during testing, say officials

THE first tram has reached Edinburgh airport as part of tram testing on a two-mile section of the line west from Gogar, airport officials said today.

Tram travelling at walking pace to check state of track, and will be accelerated to 45 mph later

Testing will continue until March

• Initial tram line betweewn York Place and the airport is due to open in summer 2014

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It comes two-and-a-half weeks after overhead power lines on the stretch of track were switched on so trams could be tested for the first time outside their depot, north of the Gogar roundabout.

It is understood trams are travelling at walking speed to check the state of the track, after which they will be accelerated to up to their top speed of 45mph.

Testing is due to continue until March, with level crossings where the tram line crosses roads being staffed while trams are operating.

The initial tram line, between the airport and York Place in the city centre, is due to start carrying passengers in summer 2014, with tram testing east of Gogar from late spring that year.

Transport minister Keith Brown told MSPs today he was increasingly confident the long-delayed opening date would be met, along with the revised budget of £776 million.