Edinburgh Trams is a tramway system which has been under construction in Edinburgh, Scotland, since 2008.
There have been several delays and cost over-runs in the construction of the tramway. The new tram system was originally scheduled to enter revenue service in February 2011. By March 2010, project delays had resulted in the prime contractor revising their estimated completion date to 2014, and by the end of 2010 only 28% of the infrastructure had been completed.
On becoming operational, the trams will be operated by Edinburgh Trams Limited, a company wholly owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. Originally costed at £375 million in 2003, the budget was later increased to £545 million; in May 2011, it was revealed that £440 million had already been spent on the project. A report issued the following month estimated that the partial completion of the tram line from the airport to the city centre would cost £770 million. A further report issued in August 2011 estimated that the final cost for the proposed line would be over £1 billion, including £228 million interest payments on a 30-year loan to cover the funding shortfall.
The project has suffered from contractual disputes between the contractors and Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (TIE), the tram project management company. After mediation talks in early 2011, a deal to enable contractors to return to work on priority locations was arranged in May 2011. Later in the year, TIE was relieved of its responsibilities and wound down, being heavily criticised for its handling of the project.
Until June 2011, the proposed network consisted of one line running east-west across the city from Edinburgh Airport to Newhaven, with future extensions subject to further funding. As of September 2011, this line has been reduced to the section from the airport to St Andrew Square in the city centre, due to cost over-runs. On 29 November 2011 it was announced that the City of Edinburgh Council's City Development Department had agreed that the line should be slightly extended from St Andrew Square to York Place.
In August 2011 the First Minister, Alex Salmond, announced that a public inquiry will be held into the project at an unspecified future date.