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RAIB publishes interim report on fatal Croydon tram derailment

16 November 2016  •  Author(s): European Railway Review

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has published its interim report into the Croydon tram derailment which fatality injured seven passengers on board.

RAIB issues interim report on fatal Croydon tram derailment

(Credit: RAIB)

At approximately 06:07 on the morning of Wednesday 9 November 2016, a tram running between New Addington and Wimbledon derailed and overturned on a bend close to Sandilands Junction in Croydon. Seven people on board the train lost their lives whilst 51 other passengers were taken to hospital.

Since the derailment, the RAIB has been carrying out investigations to improve safety and prevent future accidents.

According to the RAIB issues interim report, the tram departed from New Addington at 05:55 hrs, calling at six stops including Lloyd Park. After leaving Lloyd Park it travelled at up to 80 km/h (50 mph) (in accordance with prevailing speed restrictions), as it ran towards its next stop at Sandilands.

Initial review of the on-tram data recorder (OTDR) shows that the tram was travelling at a speed of approximately 70 km/h (43.5 mph) as it entered the curve, which had a maximum permitted speed of 20 km/h (12.5 mph).

The RAIB has issued urgent safety advice for that particular stretch of the network: ‘The factors that led to the over-speeding are still under investigation. Until these factors are better understood, and before the junction re-opens to passenger operation, the RAIB advises London Trams and Tram Operations Ltd to jointly take measures to reduce the risk of trams approaching Sandilands Junction from the direction of New Addington at an excessive speed. Options for consideration should include the imposition of a further speed restriction before the start of the existing 20 km/h speed restriction around the curve and/ or additional operational signs.’

The full report can be read here.

Commenting on the report, Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “Our thoughts are with everyone affected by what happened last Wednesday, and we are working with the local community to ensure that they continue to receive all the support they need at this incredibly difficult time.

“I thank the RAIB for their thorough and swift interim investigation. Our engineers have now repaired all track and other equipment and have run trams over the repaired section.

“We will follow the RAIB’s advice and, before service is resumed, will implement additional temporary speed restrictions and associated signage near Sandilands to supplement existing safety arrangements.

“We are continuing to carry out a thorough safety assessment and are taking the advice of an independent panel of tram experts. We will only resume services for the local community once that rigorous assurance process has been completed.”

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