In Pictures: Preserved Edinburgh Trams in Scotland

Think of trams in Edinburgh and now you probably immediately think of the modern system which links the Airport with the city centre. Then if you think of preservation then it is probably Edinburgh 35 which is on static display at Crich. But there are a couple of other preserved Edinburgh trams which don’t get much look in on this website – both are at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum in Dunfermline.

The more established member of the collection at the museum is Edinburgh 23, which is a horse tram built in 1885. Its was built in the Shrubhill workshops of the Edinburgh Street Tramways Company and after ownership was transferred to the Edinburgh District Tramways Company it remained in service until 1900 when final withdrawal came. It was then sold on and it served as a garden summer house on the Scottish borders – for over 100 years! It wasn’t until 2005 that the owners of the garden where the tram had remained for more than a century decided to investigate further the origins of the shed and they discovered that it was a 120 year old tram. After a Trust was established the old shed was transported to Edinburgh and restoration work started in 2007. By 2012 this was completed and although its said to be in a working condition it has been on static display since with the tantalising prospect that one day it may run again.

The second tram at the museum is a much less complete condition – it is Edinburgh Corporation Cable Car 226. Built at Dick Kerr works in Preston, 1903 the tram was originally operated on the cable tram system but come 1923 and it was converted to be a normal overhead electric tramcar. Withdrawn in 1938 it was sold and became a holiday chalet. Purchased by Lothian Region Transport in 1987 some restoration took place over the following 30 years. It has now been acquired by a Trust who are looking to complete is restoration at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum.

  • The Scottish Vintage Bus Museum is located in Dunfermline, Fife. Its usually open on Sundays during the spring and summer plus select other dates for special events. More details at

The double-deck horse tram sits on display.

A second view of 23 with the cable tram seen just to the left.

And here we get closer to 226 which remains under restoration but does seem as if good progress is being made. (All Photographs by John Moore, 31st July 2022)

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