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Four shortlisted for £165M Edinburgh tram extension

Edinburgh tram 3x2

Four firms or joint ventures have been shortlisted for the proposed £165M, 4.6km long extension of Edinburgh’s tram service.

The shortlisted bidders are:

  • Bam, Colas Rail JV
  • Dragados
  • Farrans, Sacyr, Neopul JV
  • Sisk, Steconfer JV

Seven contractors were invited to participate in the pre-qualification process for the contract, and a shortlist of four will be invited to tender in mid-April. The deal involves the design and construction of all track, overhead line, tram stops, systems infrastructure, road infrastructure and public realm between York Place and Newhaven.

The new service would extend the current 14km long Edinburgh tram route to Newhaven, north of the city centre. The existing route runs from York Place in the city centre to Edinburgh Airport to the west of the city.

A decision on whether to go ahead with construction is expected later in the year. If it goes ahead, the line will come into operation in 2022.

Edinburgh City Council transport convener councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “When the outline business case (OBC) was approved by council in September 2017 we pledged to test the OBC with a robust procurement process before reporting back with the final business case. Our project team – the same team which successfully delivered the tram to York Place following mediation – has worked very closely with the market over the past 18 months, developing a contract strategy that meets market expectations and the requirements of the council.

“We were very pleased with the significant level of interest from local, national and international bidders, and this process has resulted in a strong shortlist of experienced design and build contractors as we move on to the tender stage.”

A public consultation on the extension plan is currently underway.

At the same time as the business case for the new line was approved, an inquiry was launched into the delayed opening and significantly increased cost of the existing line. The line opened three years late in 2014 and the project was beset with disputes. Despite the scope of works for the line being cut, the cost rose from £454M to £776M and nearly all of its contingency fund was spent by 2013.

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