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Trams for Bath does not have access to the specialised information necessary to make an accurate estimate of all possible costs. The major costs were originally identified in 1999 and were estimated on the basis of information available at that time. Some increased costs, for example those occasioned by legislation after that date, were predicted but were unquantifiable and were omitted.

In hindsight it appears that overall costs have since increased beyond anything which could have been imagined at the time. Mismanagement and inappropriate legislation have increased the financial risk placed upon companies undertaking tramway work, this risk is now being reflected in the increased cost of tenders for future work.

Integrated Transport and the Future of Light Rail and Modern Trams in the United Kingdom
Tenth Report of Session 2004-05 Published April 2005


Apparently minor changes to the design of the system can have major repercussions in costs. For instance the adoption of articulated single-decked vehicles will not only double depôt costs but could necessitate a more expensive track structure and layout.

The costs listed below represent a minimal 'no-frills' system and are based specifically on TfB proposals. They may not be applicable to other systems of different design.

COSTS 1999 





Electrical + Signals




Diversion of services




Stops + Equipment




If these costs are increased by necessary or desirable additions to the basic system, it is probable that similar increases in costs will apply to other public transport modes seeking to offer a similar qualty of service. This must be born in mind when comparing the costs of different modes.


The costs of recent tramway projects in Britain have been much higher than this, partly because they were altogether heavier projects and partly because they were used as an opportunity to rebuild civic infrastructure.

The basic cost of tramway track is around £250,000 per km but parts of the Manchester Metrolink have been estimated at £7,000,000 per km because some of Manchester city centre was rebuilt as part of the project.


Costs 2006

More information on Route lengths

More on Financing a Tramway

Viability of the project

How other tramways were financed

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