Edinburgh trams test Exercise Salvador a success

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TRAM chiefs – with the help of 1000 volunteers – have staged the exotically-titled ‘Exercise Salvador’ dummy run to prepare for the network’s first major test.

Exercise Salvador began putting the Murrayfield Stadium stop through its paces at 9.30am to test crowd management plans ahead of the One Direction concert there in June.

The tram's first passengers during today's test. Pic: David O'Leary

The tram's first passengers during today's test. Pic: David O'Leary

Those taking part included former Simple Minds manager Bruce Findlay and 93-year-old former tram driver David Crombie.

Around 1,000 people have taken their first trip on Edinburgh’s trams as part of the latest test on the transport system.

Volunteers boarded trams at Murrayfield Stadium as the service ran between Edinburgh Airport and Haymarket to allow staff to check out crowd management procedures.

The test was praised as a success by the council who will continue to test the operation of the £776 million project before it enters full passenger service in May.

Tram volunteers were testing out the stop at Murrayfield this morning in Exercise Salvador. Pic: Tom Norris

Tram volunteers were testing out the stop at Murrayfield this morning in Exercise Salvador. Pic: Tom Norris

Council transport convener Lesley Hinds said: “We’re immensely grateful to everyone who volunteered to help us with Exercise Salvador today. Testing out different scenarios is a vital part of the plans and preparations for any major new public transport system and today’s exercise was an extremely useful stage in the lead-up to passenger services starting in May.”

The testing follows six years of construction and problems on the tram network, including a long-running dispute between the council and its contractor.

One of the first high-profile events the trams will be involved in once operational will be the One Direction concert at Murrayfield in June.

Edinburgh Trams general manager Tom Norris thanked the volunteers for taking part in the test today.

He said: “We have learned a lot from Exercise Salvador and will now use these observations to ensure we have the best possible procedures in place to manage crowd numbers on to the Edinburgh Trams system.”