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Testing time for city's new tram system

THE Scottish capital's tram system has been put through its crowd control paces with its first passengers.

CROWD CONTROL: Various event scenarios were acted out.
CROWD CONTROL: Various event scenarios were acted out.

The 1000 volunteers were recruited to allow Edinburgh Trams to test the system with high numbers on board ahead of its launch in May.

Among the testers to step forward were a former super-band manager and a veteran of the trams from the last time they were in Edinburgh.

They boarded and alighted and ran the route from the nearest stop to Murrayfield stadium to the airport raising speeds of 50mph on the straight.

The test comes ahead of the real thing in June, when an influx of fans are expected at the stadium to see pop band One Direction.

The £776 million project has been tested in the city all this week. The latest run was dubbed a success by many who joined a flurry of social media activity while on board.

Among those taking part were former Simple Minds manager Bruce Findlay.

He tweeted: "Congratulations Edinburgh Trams team. A great experience being the first members of the public to ride the trams!"

James Mackenzie posted: "My dad was on the last Edinburgh tram back to the depot. Today he was among the first to test the new ones. #sohappy."

Before entering full passenger service, Edinburgh Trams needs to undertake a number of realistic exercises to test operational and safety procedures.

Organisers of Exercise Salvador paid tribute to members of the public for their help and enthusiasm. The test involved the "extras" enacting various crowd management scenarios at the stadium tram stop and also gave them the opportunity of a round trip tram journey.

Lesley Hinds, Edinburgh's transport convener, said: "We're immensely grateful to everyone who volunteered to help us with Exercise Salvador.

"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."

Tom Norris, Edinburgh Trams director and general manager, said: "On behalf of everyone at Edinburgh Trams, huge thanks are due to all the volunteers who took part in Exercise Salvador crowd management tests at Murrayfield.

"Your enthusiasm and co-operation helped us greatly in carrying out the different requirements of the exercise.

"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."

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