Croydon’s trams are running services on all routes again, 10 days after the tragic derailment in which seven people died and 50 people were injured. But the service has only resumed after additional speed restrictions have been put in place at the crash site at Sandilands and three other places on the network.
The additional restrictions are the result of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch’s interim report into the crash, which was published on Wednesday.
Transport for London made a low-key announcement on the resumption of service this morning. “Following the tragic events in Croydon last week, tram services have today resumed across the whole tram network,” they said.
“Prior to resuming, and in accordance with advice in the Rail Accident Investigation Branch’s (RAIB) interim report into the derailment, additional speed restrictions and associated signage have been introduced near Sandilands. These precautionary measures have also been implemented at three other locations on the tram network.”
The RAIB initial findings were that the crash occurred because the tram had been travelling too quickly into the 90-degree bend into Sandilands tram stop, where there is a 12mph (20kmph) speed limit soon after the trams emerge from a tunnel where they travel at close to top speed.
The additional speed restrictions imposed by TfL today see a 36mph limit inserted between the 48mph limit (through the tunnel) and the 12mph limit (into the bend). As advised by the RAIB, the 12mph limit has been moved further up the track from the sharp bend.
TfL has also implemented new speed restrictions in the opposite track direction between Sandilands and Lloyd Park, on the approach to Sandilands from the Beckenham Junction and Elmers End branch, and on the bend between Birkbeck and Harrington Road.
FirstGroup, the tram operators, will be carrying out “enhanced speed monitoring” across the network.
Tram services had been suspended between East Croydon and Harrington Road, Addington Village and Elmers End during the course of crash investigations and engineering repair work.
“TfL has carried out a thorough safety assessment and has taken the advice of an independent panel of tram experts as part of a rigorous safety assurance process before resuming the service,” TfL said today.
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by what happened last Wednesday, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that they receive support at this incredibly difficult time,” London’s transport commissioner Mike Brown said.
“Following the RAIB’s interim investigation, we have implemented their advice on additional speed restrictions and signage and carried out a rigorous safety assessment prior to restoring services.”
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