How feasible / possible is it to convert a guided busway to a tramway?

Above – Edinburgh Busway being converted into a tramway in 2010

Feasible of  converting a busway to a tramway.

It probably depends on whether the busway was constructed with a view to eventual conversion. If so, it might be reasonably easy/cheap to convert. If not, it might not be much cheaper than building a tramway from scratch.

I’m not a civil engineer so I can’t say for definite. But off the top of my head –

– You would save on the land and property cost as you would have the alignment already – say about 12 per cent of the cost of a new tramway.
– If structures such as bridges or tunnels were convertible, you would save on those, but if not, it might be as expensive to convert as to build from scratch.
– If the utility diversions were done when the busway was constructed, you would save on that too – say another 12-13 per cent.
– You might save a bit on stops if they could be adapted, but that’s only about 10 per cent (if that) of the cost of a tramway.
– You still have all the cost of tracks, power systems, overhead line equipment etc.
– You would need a new depot for the trams, whereas vehicles on a busway can probably use existing facilities
So overall, you might convert a busway for, very roughly, 70-75 per cent of a new tramway, if you’re lucky.
Bear in mind also that you need to build a tramway for the entire length of the route, whereas buses can come off the busway and use ordinary roads in city centres – which might mean that the busway is only build in the places where it is needed least.
David W –  (a tramsport expert – Ed.) 
An aerial view of the new Walmsley  Meadow estate, close to the Cambridge  busway at the Leigh end. 
Houses very densely packed together, no doubt all car owners.  Watch this space for whether a new busway stop is added to serve all those new houses. (David Holt)