It’s the moment that we have been waiting for since the return of Edinburgh’s trams was first announced 13 years ago.
On Monday, November 26, the first tram will roll out of the tram depot at Gogar Castle Road to make the short journey of just over a mile-and-a-half to Edinburgh Airport. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that there won’t be a single paying passenger on board. This is only the next stage of the testing of the long-awaited service that won’t start in earnest for at least another year.
Nevertheless, this is an important psychological milestone.
For the first time since November 1956 it will be possible to stand on an Edinburgh street and watch a tram go past.
We have been told many times that 21st century trams are so efficient we will barely be able to hear them go by. Now for the first time many of us will be able to see and hear them – or not hear them – for ourselves.
Let’s hope they live up to the hype.
The often-tortuous troubles of the trams have inevitably built up a lot of cynicism around them. And it is going to take a heck of a lot to convince many who have suffered so badly during its construction that they will ever be good for the city.
But, if we are all ever going to learn to love the trams, it will be through experiencing them for ourselves – and being impressed.
That is what the project’s cheerleaders tell us will happen over time.
Well, whether or not we have scoffed at that idea or wanted to believe it, the waiting is nearly over. Three weeks from today the people of Edinburgh can start the process of judging for themselves whether or not our hugely expensive tram line is going to be an asset to the city.
Let’s face it, whether we like it or not, we are spending at least £776 million on this tram line. It has got to be good to finally see something moving along it and to see what we are paying for in action for the first time.
A sparkling event
Well done to all those involved in the magnificent Sparkle and Shine fashion show over the weekend.
What a fantastic event to both raise awareness and funds for Lynne McNicoll’s It’s Good 2 Give charity for young cancer patients. Lynne has habit of pulling off spectacular fundraisers and so it proved again.
Of course the real stars of the catwalk were not the outfits but the 70-plus models – all of whom have been touched in some way by cancer.
Roll on next year and another sparkling night.