It took seven years to build the tracks, but Edinburgh’s tram is already building a dynasty, with the first baby born to a tram driver in half a century registered in the city.
One-and-a-half-year-old Oscar Paton’s birth certificate will carry a little bit of history, with dad Davis, 31, officially labelled a “tramway car driver”, a job title that hasn’t been used since trams stopped running in 1956.
When Davis went to register the birth of his son, his occupation had the council registrar scratching her head. How to record a job that hasn’t been seen in the city for 50 years?
It turned out to be question as difficult as how to get the trams to run down Leith Walk. “She asked me what my occupation was, so I told her, and she wasn’t sure what to put down,” said Davis. “She had to ring her boss, who wasn’t sure either, so she had to call the head office.”
Davis applied to become a tram driver “because it was a new company and a new start”, and he is looking forward to the excitement of carrying his first passengers when the service officially launches on May 31.
The past few months have already seen plenty of exciting new starts, with Davis having to juggle the pressures of becoming a dad for the first time with learning to do a new job. The first months of Oscar’s life have been dominated by long hours of training at the controls of Edinburgh’s trams. Before carrying his first load of passengers at the end of the month, Davis plans to join his wife, Lisa, 32, and Oscar for a ride along the route on the first day.
The service could guarantee a future employee if the toddler catches the “tram bug” the same way his dad has. Davis said “it’s too soon to say” when asked if he wants Oscar to follow in his footsteps and become a tram driver. But he has hopes of working alongside his son if Oscar does decide to go into the family business.
“I’d hope to still be doing this by the time Oscar is old enough to get a job,” Davis said. If he doesn’t go off the rails, that is.