Croydon waits on tram crash investigators’ preliminary report

A one minute's silence is observed mark the Croydon tram incident, by the cenotaph in Croydon, London.

Dignified silence: The scene at Croydon’s war memorial on Friday, when the victims of the Sandilands tram crash were remembered alongside the town’s war dead

Seven names were added to Croydon’s service of remembrance at Croydon Minster yesterday morning.

Dane Chinnery

Donald Collett

Robert Huxley

Philip Logan

Dorota Rynkiewicz

Phil Seary

Mark Smith

The fatal victims of Croydon’s tram crash last Wednesday were remembered in dignified, solemn ceremonies by the war memorial on Friday, and yesterday in the borough’s annual civic ceremony, along with the fallen of the two world wars and other conflicts.

Further details continue to emerge about the victims, five of whom lived in New Addington, all of whom were just setting off on a normal day, travelling to work, on a journey many of them had undertaken hundreds, if not thousands of times before, when the tram left the tracks at speed just after 6am on Wednesday.

The seven dead were among nearly 60 people hurt in the crash, some of them gravely.


Tram victims (from left): Mark Smith, Dane Chinnery, Phil Seary and Dorota Rynkiewicz

An online appeal for donations for the families and friends of the dead and injured set up by Croydon Council has already raised more than £12,000.

Donations on the Crowdfunding page can be made here.

Other parts of the community are also trying to assist: at the Polish community centre in South Norwood yesterday, arrangements were being made to provide financial support for the young child of Rynkiewicz, and to pay for her body to be flown to Poland for a family funeral there.

Philip Logan (left) and Donald Collett (centre) and Robert Huxle

Tram victims (from left): Philip Logan, and Donald Collett and Robert Huxley

Support sessions have also been arranged for young people who have been affected by the loss of friends and family members.

Tue Nov 15: 3.30pm to 5pm Addington Methodist Messy Church CR0 9BA
For details call 020 8653 2424 or email

Wed Nov 16: 4.30pm to 7.30pm CDI Talkbus at Timebridge Youth Centre CR0 9AZ

And a welfare centre at CALAT New Addington, on Central Parade, is open throughout the week, from 10am to 10pm. It is staffed by council staff, the British Red Cross, Salvation Army, Victim Support, Rail Care Teams and local church and community groups who are offering individual support, counselling and advice for anyone affected.

Work to remove the crashed tram began once Transport for London concluded its investigation of the site.

A preliminary report from the accident investigators is expected this week.

Yesterday, newspaper reports offered possibly conflicting accounts of what happened: with the tram driver, named as Alfred Dorris, 42, from Beckenham, having been placed on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, one Sunday paper suggested that his mobile phone records are being checked to see whether he was using the device at the time of the crash. Another report suggested Dorris had fallen on the tram accelerator after blacking out.

The crashed tram carriages were removed from the site over the weekend

The crashed tram carriages were removed from the site over the weekend

Officials are also examining reports that a tram “lifted on to one side” at 40mph in the same area on October 31. There have been other reports of trams feeling unstable on that tight, 90-degree bend into Sandilands after travelling quickly through the tunnel section from Lloyd Park.

While the crashed tram carriages were removed from the site of the derailment at Sandilands over the weekend, services on the network had not returned to normal in time for the start of the Monday morning rush hour.

In an internal message distributed by Croydon Council yesterday, officials said, “As you may know, the tram has been moved from site and good progress has been made to replace track and other trackside equipment. This work will not, however, be completed in time to allow the service to resume on Monday because the safe movement of the tram took a little longer than had been anticipated.

“This means that on Monday there will be no service between East Croydon and Harrington Road, Addington Village or Elmers End.  All other tram services will continue to be operating as usual.”

The delay is seen by some to indicate the difficulties in making the section of track where the derailment occurred safe for use after the damage caused by the crash. On Thursday, Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner, had said that tram services would be back to normal by the weekend.

Other transport routes are being opened up. The council email stated: “The A232 reopened yesterday and bus routes are no longer on diversion. We will continue to operate additional services on routes 130, 289 and 466.”

Bus services to replace the absent tram services were also a cause for complaint by some passengers over the weekend – because they barely existed. Some passengers had a wait of more than one hour for a replacement bus when waiting at Lloyd Park on Sunday – emphasising the importance of the tram network to the people of Croydon.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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