Excess speed the cause of Croydon fatal tram crash

RAIB’s initial report finds the Croydon tram was being driven at more than three times the line speed limit when it derailed and rolled over on a tight curve.

The Rail Accident Investigation Board has issued its interim report into the fatal tram accident in Croydon.

The accident occurred near to Sandilands Junction just after 06.00 on November 9 when tram No. 2551 derailed on the approach to the junction and turned on its side. Seven passengers died in the crash and a further 51 people were taken to hospital – making it the worst rail crash in Britain since Ufton Nervet in 2004.

The tram was operating an ‘inbound’ service from New Addington to Wimbledon via Croydon. Sandilands Junction is the point where inbound trams from Beckenham Junction/Elmers End and New Addington converge shortly before the Sandilands stop.

A review of the on-tram data recorder showed that it was travelling at about 70kph (43.5mph) as it entered the curve, which had a maximum permitted speed of just 20kph (12.5mph).

Read more in January’s issue of Rail Express

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