Edinburgh trams: Overhead cables to go up during summer
Final preparations to install overhead and underground cabling are being made for the city centre section of the Edinburgh tram line.
It is the project's final major piece of construction work and requires sites between Haymarket and the West End and at York Place to remain closed.
Cables will be installed on Princes Street and on St Andrew Square during a series of night shifts.
Overhead cabling will start in mid June from York Place at Broughton Street.
The full programme which includes underground cabling is scheduled for completion in the Autumn.
Lesley Hinds, Edinburgh City Council's transport convener, has played down claims trams could be running in the city by Christmas.
Ms Hinds said: "Good progress continues all along the tram route and we're now approaching a stage, in the city centre, where road works are nearly finished. This will be a welcome sight to traders, residents and visitors to the area this summer.
"This cable installation programme is the final major piece in the construction jigsaw but it's a significant project which requires time. Contractors will carefully hang power wires overhead at the correct tension and they'll pull miles of power cables and communication lines through underground ducts.
"Once this is done we'll be closer to the rigorous testing phase which will fully prepare the system and the people of Edinburgh Trams for service next year."
Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "The project is entering a crucial phase and the installation of overhead and underground cabling in the city centre section is another key milestone. I wish everyone involved in carrying out this complex operation over the summer well.
"The continued patience of local residents and businesses is to be applauded. They are hopefully now starting to see some tangible progress ahead of the crucial summer tourist season."