‘Historic’ tram test tickets up for sale online

People get ready to test the system. Picture: PA
People get ready to test the system. Picture: PA
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The lucky 1000 who received a trams test ticket to take part in the recent Exercise Salvador could be quids in, but only to the tune of around £2.

In the latest sign people appear to be warming to the trams, we can reveal people have been selling their tickets on eBay and Gumtree – with tickets offered for sale between 99p and £2.

Alastair Proudfoot with his No 1 ticket. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Alastair Proudfoot with his No 1 ticket. Picture: Ian Rutherford

One entrepreneurial punter placed a ticket for the outgoing airport bound section of the two-part test on auction site eBay with opening bids of 99p.

Named Kiltedbiggles, the seller offers “a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of Edinburgh Tram history”.

However, this particular slice of history hasn’t attracted any bids – despite being up for sale for nearly a week – while another has attracted just one bid.

Like the other briefs it even sports the wrong date – 13.03.2013. Tram bosses seemingly noticed the mass mistake, but decided against a reprint as they did not wish to waste any more money.

The city’s love affair with the sleek trams ignited when daylight testing began. Snaps of the carriages started appearing on websites across the Capital.

And the fervour reached a peak last week when 1000 people took part in the large-scale dummy run held to test the Murrayfield stop’s ability to handle crowds.

Alastair Proudfoot, 45, from Livingston, bagged himself ticket number 001 on the day but has no plans to sell his keepsake. He said: “It’s a bit of history. I arrived at 8.55am, half an hour before everyone else, it was only later I realised the significance of the ticket number.

“The early bird catches the worm I suppose, I’ll definitely be keeping it and have no intention to sell it.”

Memorabilia experts asked how they felt its price might rise in future years gave a considered view – namely not much at all.

Serena Zaccaron, of memorabilia auction site Value My Stuff, said: “Despite its appeal as a first travel ticket and a misprint, the Edinburgh tram ticket was printed in large numbers and is therefore not a rare specimen.

“It also lacks aesthetic appeal, not presenting any of the decoration or attractive graphics that characterise older transport tickets.

“Finally, for its subject matter the ticket has only a limited collecting interest. Indeed, it would attract mainly collectors of transport memorabilia or those interested in local ­history. For these reasons, the value of the ticket would not probably increase exponentially in the future.”

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “Clearly it was a memorable experience for people to take their first trip on the new Edinburgh trams, so the tickets are a little piece of history in a way.”

Rare transport brief values vary wildly

THE sale value of transport tickets depends on their age, rarity, quality of the illustration, condition and firm which issued them.

Tickets dating to the first half of the 20th century are valued on average between £10 and £20 with a range of up to £100. Tickets achieve higher prices when part of a special series.

Misprints, as on the Edinburgh tram ticket, can often result in an increase in value. For instance, an 1854 Indian stamp of Queen Victoria, surviving in 20/30 specimens, was estimated last year at Spink’s between £50,000 and £70,000.

A ticket from the last run of trams in the city from 1956 is currently on sale on eBay with an asking price similar to that of this most recent incarnation at 99p.