Could a land train be heading to the Royal Mile?

The Royal Mile could end up with the kind of train service which has become a familiar sight in Fife, Dundee and Angus in recent years.

Friday, 10th November 2017, 7:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:55 am
A land train is being considered as part of improving the Old Town
A land train is being considered as part of improving the Old Town

Localmotion Land Trains have been running in Broughty Ferry, St Andrews and Dundee.

Founder Ewan Stewart, whose firm takes bookings for weddings and corporate events, said he had already explored the possibility of venturing into Edinburgh but was worried the city’s streets were too busy.

He told the Evening News: “You can definitely get land trains that can tackle a gradient like the Royal Mile. You would have to carry out all kinds of health and safety and risk assessments to do something like this.

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“I would be happy to speak to people in Edinburgh. We did make some tentative inquiries previously, but I felt it might have been too busy with tourists.

“We’ve been running services in St Andrews since 2014 and they’ve been really popular. It’s like a mini-Edinburgh.”

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Norrie Smith, project manger of the proposed BID project, said: “The proposals we have produced are still very much up for discussion.

“The idea of a train was originally a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it is amazing how many people have picked up on it. It has proved remarkably popular so far – people seem to think it’s a great idea. It is a long way up and down the Royal Mile.”

A key aim of the Edinburgh Old Town Bid is to encourage more people to visit the lesser-known museums and cultural attractions on and around the Royal Mile, which are sometimes overlooked in favour of Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and St Giles’ Cathedral.

Mr Smith added: “One of the objectives of the area becoming a Business Improvement District is to ensure that the vast visitor figures for the Old Town are more evenly distributed.

“We don’t just want people to jump in a taxi, go to the Castle and go home again. We want people to enjoy this amazing medieval city and really soak up the atmosphere.

“We want to get across the message that the Old Town itself, with its historic streets, closes, vennels and wynds, is worth exploring. It’s not just about the main attractions.”