IT’s been a £776 million roller-coaster that left an entire city scratching its head wondering how it ever went so wrong.
But, true to form, those pesky trams are at it again and posing a fresh conundrum: what do you to do with a motor-less and wheel-less streetcar?
• What would you do with the mock tram? Polite suggestions please in the comments section below.
The mock-up tram car that teased bypassers on Leith Walk and Princes Street for 18 months is seeking a new home – after being refused board at a children’s safety centre.
It attracted around 74,000 visitors during its city centre stint in 2008, with residents clambering aboard for a tram taster – something they wouldn’t experience for real until a fortnight ago.
Currently unloved and gathering dust in Lothian Buses’ Seafield depot, tram chiefs hope to give the nine-metre long former publicity tool a new lease of life.
But a flurry of suggestions have poured in, with the most likely winner being to convert the model into a tram ticket kiosk at Edinburgh Airport
The life-size model, which cost a fraction of the £2 million price tag for a working tram, lacks any mechanical parts, but does feature a fully kitted-out cockpit along with seating and storage.
It is understood the model has already been offered to The Risk Factory in Chesser, which hosts classes for around 8,500 children each year on how to avoid life-threatening danger and injury.
However, the tram’s gangly dimensions proved too large for the safety centre.
Options being explored by tram chiefs include converting it into a canteen at the Gogar depot, or even a meeting room.
Another calls for it to be donated to the Riverside Transport Museum in Glasgow.
Marketing expert Pauline Platt said of the airport plan: “Trams are synonymous with the Capital so this would be a nice idea and a quirky welcome to visitors at the airport.
“It would become an eye-catching feature pretty quickly.
“It cost money so it shouldn’t just be left somewhere, it should be put to use and recycling it would be a good and reasonable thing to do.”
City transport convenor Councillor Lesley Hinds, revealed “a number of options” were under consideration.
“At about 9m long, its size poses a challenge for potential locations, however, we are confident we’ll secure a good home for it in due course,” she said.
In a tumultuous city centre stay back in 2008, the model tram was vandalised twice in the space of a few days.
The replica, which became one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions during its time on the thoroughfare, was daubed with graffiti in two separate incidents
The following May it was moved to Constitution Street in Leith and again hit the headlines when the Evening News revealed that a security officer was being paid to guard it.