2016 Croydon tram derailment


On 9 November 2016, a tram operated by Tramlink, running from New Addington to Wimbledon, derailed and overturned on the approach to a junction close to the Sandilands tram stop in Croydon, South London[1] There were seven fatalities with at least 51 other people injured The tram was crowded when the accident took place shortly after 06:10 GMT[2] It was one of the deadliest British transport incidents in years, and the first fatal tram incident in the UK since 1959[3]

Contents

  • 1 Accident
  • 2 Aftermath
  • 3 Investigations
    • 31 British Transport Police
    • 32 Office of Rail and Road
    • 33 Rail Accident Investigation Branch
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References

Accident

The scene of the accident Location where the tram came to rest Sandilands Junction in 2012, viewed from Addiscombe Road The accident occurred on the tracks in the distance, with the tram initially proceeding towards the camera position then turning to its left Timetable of derailed tram scheduled[4]
Station Time
New Addington 05:55
Lloyd Park 06:07
Sandilands 06:10
Wimbledon 06:37

The accident took place in wet weather at approx­imately 06:10, before sunrise, on a sharp left-hand curve approach­ing the points where route 3 from New Addington on which the tram was operating converges with the line from Beckenham Junction and Elmers End[1][5] The curve is located in a cutting, which comes almost immediately after the line emerges from a series of three tunnels on a 1-mile 16 km straight section of track after leaving Lloyd Park tram stop It has been described as a "sharp bend",[6] and has a 20 km/h 12 mph speed restriction Initial indications are that the tram was travelling at a "significantly higher" speed than this[1] The tram was a Bombardier CR4000, No 2551,[1] which is a two-section single-articulated unit and has a maximum design speed of 80 km/h 50 mph The tram overturned onto its right-hand side, falling outside the curve on which it was travelling and trapping several people inside The Office of Rail and Road confirmed that British trams are not fitted with any safety protection systems that would apply the brakes automatically if they are going too fast[6][7]

The emergency services confirmed that 51 people were injured, and initially stated that five had been killed[6][8] The death toll later rose to seven[9] The victims, six men and a woman, were between 19 and 63 years old[10] Eight of the survivors were described as having serious or life-threatening injuries[11]

The injured were taken to St George's Hospital, Tooting, and to Croydon University Hospital[6] As well as the 51 people taken to hospital, seven more made their own ways to hospital for treatment Twenty-two ambulances,[12] eight fire engines and over 70 firefighters from the London Fire Brigade were sent to the scene It was the deadliest tram accident in the United Kingdom since an accident at Dover in 1917 killed eleven and injured 60,[13][14] and the first in the United Kingdom in which passengers were killed since 1959[2] It is also the deadliest accident on any rail network in the UK since the 2001 Great Heck rail crash[14]

Aftermath

FirstGroup, which operates the tram on behalf of Transport for London TfL, said it was "shocked and saddened by what happened"[15] An extra minute was added to the two-minute Armistice Day silence at Croydon Cenotaph[15] TfL later made an offer to cover the funeral expenses of the victims[16]

During the night of 10–11 November, the tram was righted in preparation for removal from the accident site[17] The tram was removed from the site on the morning of 12 November[18]

Following the accident, disjoint tram services ran between East Croydon and Wimbledon, between New Addington and Addington Village, and between Beckenham Junction and Harrington Road[19]

Investigations

British Transport Police

The 42-year old tram driver was arrested by the British Transport Police on suspicion of manslaughter[9][20] After questioning, he was released on bail until May 2017[20] According to metrocouk, one aspect of the police investigation is whether or not the tram driver fell asleep and The Guardian reports that some passengers said the driver had blacked out at the controls[21] A former driver suggested, to The Times, that a blackout was a possibility, due to the erratic shift patterns that the drivers had to adhere to He also alleged that the vending machine at the tram depot was stocked only with energy drinks

Nobody is ever fully awake; I was always in a bit of a daze and that is because the way the shifts work doesn't allow the drivers to get a regular sleep pattern[22]

Office of Rail and Road

The Office of Rail and Road opened its own investigation into the accident, concentrating on whether or not safety rules were followed[16]

Rail Accident Investigation Branch

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch RAIB is also investigating the accident, with data from the tram's on-board event recorder being analysed[23] The RAIB state that initial indications suggest that the tram was travelling at a significantly higher speed than permitted[1] Following the accident, The Guardian reported that on 31 October there had been passenger allegations made on Facebook of trams travelling round the curve at excessive speeds The Evening Standard reports an earlier passenger complaint describing the trams as "tipping" on the curve[12][14] The driver of the tram involved in the 31 October incident was not the one involved in the accident on 9 November[24]

The interim report was released a week later on 16 November[25] Initial findings were that the tram was travelling at approximately 70 kilometres per hour 43 mph at the time of the accident – far more than the line speed of 20 kilometres per hour 12 mph – with the brakes having been applied late[26]

See also

  • List of tram accidents
  • List of rail accidents in the United Kingdom
  • Transport in the United Kingdom#Trams and Light Rail

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Investigation into a fatal accident involving a tram near Sandilands Junction, Croydon, 9 November 2016" Rail Accident Investigation Branch 
  2. ^ a b "Several killed and more than 50 injured as tram overturns in Croydon" ITV Retrieved 9 November 2016 
  3. ^ Hunter, Matt; Burrows, Thomas 13 November 2016 "Police name final three victims of Croydon tram crash that killed seven as wreckage is finally removed from the scene and repair work starts" Daily Mail Retrieved 13 November 2016 
  4. ^ "New Addington – Croydon – Wimbledon" PDF 
  5. ^
    • "BBC London Live: Latest updates" BBC London 9 November 2016 Retrieved 9 November 2016 
    • "Croydon Tram Derails: Several Feared Dead After Crash" LBC 9 November 2016 Retrieved 9 November 2016 
  6. ^ a b c d "Croydon tram: Five dead and 50 injured after derailment" BBC London 9 November 2016 Retrieved 9 November 2016 
  7. ^ "Dozens injured after tram overturns in Croydon" Sky News 9 November 2016 Retrieved 9 November 2016 
  8. ^ Tom Powell 9 November 2016 "Croydon tram derailment: Several feared dead and dozens injured after tram overturns at Sandilands" London Evening Standard Retrieved 9 November 2016 
  9. ^ a b "BTP | Updated statement on tram derailment – Croydon" mediabtppoliceuk "British Transport Police" Retrieved 9 November 2016 
  10. ^ "Croydon tram crash: Who were the victims" BBC News Online 13 November 2016 Retrieved 14 November 2016 
  11. ^ "Croydon tram crash: Driver held on suspicion on manslaughter" BBC News Online Retrieved 10 November 2016 
  12. ^ a b Ross, Alice; Gayle, Damien; Topham, Gwyn 10 November 2016 "Croydon tram crash: police examine reports of incident in previous week" The Guardian Guardian News and Media Ltd Retrieved 11 November 2016 
  13. ^ Horn, J V 1955 "Chapter VI The tramways during the First World War" The Story of the Dover Corporation Tramways, 1897–1936 London: The Light Railway Transport League 
  14. ^ a b c Davis, Barney; Watts, Matt; Sleigh, Sophia "Croydon tram crash: first victim named as Crystal Palace fan, 19 who was on his way to work" Evening Standard Retrieved 10 November 2016 
  15. ^ a b "Croydon tram crash: Crane to lift carriages from site" BBC Online Retrieved 11 November 2016 
  16. ^ a b "Croydon tram crash: Funeral costs offer from Transport for London" BBC News Online Retrieved 16 November 2016 
  17. ^ Gillett, Francesca "Croydon tram crash: Giant crane arrives as work begins to move wreckage" London Evening Standard Retrieved 11 November 2016 
  18. ^ "Croydon tram crash: Carriages being removed from site" BBC News Online Retrieved 12 November 2016 
  19. ^ Harrington, T "Closed section of Croydon tram network could be reopened tomorrow" Croydon Advertiser Local World Retrieved 14 November 2016 
  20. ^ a b "Croydon tram driver bailed as first victim is named" Sky News Retrieved 10 November 2016 
  21. ^
    • Morley, Nicole "Crowdfunding page launched for victims of Croydon tram crash that killed 7" Metro Associated Newspapers Ltd Retrieved 9 November 2016 
    • Siddique, Haroon; Gayle, Damien; Rawlinson, Kevin 9 November 2016 "Croydon tram driver 'blacked out' in crash that killed seven, claim passengers" The Guardian Guardian News and Media Ltd Retrieved 10 November 2016 
  22. ^ Kolirin, Lianne 14 November 2016 "Tram drivers left 'in a daze' by erratic shifts" The Times 72067 p 17 ISSN 0140-0460 
  23. ^ "There will be disruption 'for days' on Croydon trams after crash" Croydon Advertiser 9 November 2016 Retrieved 12 November 2016 
  24. ^ "Croydon tram crash: Bosses were warned of 'speeding trams'" BBC News Online Retrieved 14 November 2016 
  25. ^ "Fatal accident involving the derailment of a tram at Sandilands Junction, Croydon - 9 November 2016" PDF Rail Accident Investigation Branch 16 November 2016 Retrieved 16 November 2016 
  26. ^ Gwyn Topham 16 November 2016 "Croydon tram going three times speed limit when it derailed, say investigators" The Guardian Retrieved 16 November 2016 


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