Monday, 7 August 2017

TfL responds to RAIB on Croydon Tram derailment

Since the Croydon tram derailment which happened on the morning of 9th November 2016, TfL has added more safety measures for their trams serving the South of Greater London.

We begin with the RAIB’s article on the tram derailment in Croydon...


The RAIB investigation into the fatal accident that occurred near Sandilands Junction on the London Tramlink system is continuing.

At around 06:10 hrs on Wednesday 9 November 2016, a tram overturned on a bend. Seven people suffered fatal injuries in the accident. A further 51 people were taken to hospital.

Further details of the accident and our ongoing investigation were included in two interim reports which were published on 16 November 2016 and 20 February 2017.

While the basic explanation of events that day remains as described in the second interim report, we have gathered and analysed considerably more evidence since it was published in February. This has allowed us to formulate draft recommendations.

In recent weeks, we have discussed the draft safety recommendations, and our justifications for making them, with the families of the people who died in the accident, with the organisations involved and with the safety authority (Office of Rail and Road).

We have recently written to Transport for London which owns the tramway, Tram Operations Limited which operates the tramway and UKTram which is the trade organisation covering all UK tram operators, to formally confirm the areas that a number of our key recommendations are expected to cover. We did this so they can start to consider what action to take in response, prior to the publication of our final report. The letter has been copied to other UK tram operators and the safety authority.

Key recommendation areas addressed to UK tram operators, are likely to be:
  • provision of active tram protection to prevent serious accidents due to excessive speed at high risk locations
  • research into active means of detecting the attention state of drivers and intervening in the event of inattention
  • improved containment of passengers by tram windows and doors
  • setting up of an industry body to facilitate more effective cooperation between UK tramway owners and operators on matters related to safety performance and the development of common standards

In addition, the RAIB’s investigation into how Tram Operations Ltd manage fatigue risk may result in a recommendation.

Our final report will also highlight the importance of ensuring the availability of in-tram CCTV systems and any actions already taken to address the issue. If necessary, the RAIB will also make a recommendation for further improvement in this area.

This list is not exhaustive, but includes some of the important safety issues that are likely to take time to implement, making early consideration vital. Other areas within the scope of our investigation, such as consideration of underlying safety management and regulatory factors, may also give rise to recommendations. We are encouraged to learn that some tramway organisations have already started work in a number of these areas.

We are now writing the final report. Once it is complete, it will be subject to formal, written consultation with those involved, prior to publication. We are aiming to publish the report in under a year from the date of the accident. However, the publication date remains subject to a number of factors, some of which are outside our direct control.

Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the tramway industry, the British Transport Police or by the Office of Rail and Road.

TfL’s response to the RAIB’s article:

From TfL press release

Statement by Mike Brown MVO, London's Transport Commissioner

`Our thoughts remain with all those affected by the tragic tram derailment and we continue to do all we can to offer our support.

`Since the incident we have introduced a number of additional safety measures to the tram network, including additional speed restrictions, enhanced speed monitoring, new signage for drivers and an upgrade of the CCTV recording system.

`An in-cab vigilance system is being trialed and should be fitted to all trams by the autumn. Any sign of driver distraction or fatigue will result in the driver being alerted immediately. Work on an alert system for monitoring and managing tram speed is underway.

`We continue to work with the wider tram industry on these improvements and will consider any further measures that could be introduced to improve safety. We also continue to work with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) and will take on board all recommendations from this and the other investigations that are underway.

`The TfL Sarah Hope line remains available to all those affected and continues to provide help with counselling and other support.'


Additional information:

So far we have completed a number of safety improvements to the tram network, including:

· Additional speed restrictions and associated signage have been installed near Sandilands and at three other locations on the tram network. We will implement a permanent speed reduction across the London tram network by the end of September, meaning the maximum speed trams can travel will be 70kph (previously 80kph).

· Enhanced chevron signs have been installed at the four sites with significant bends to provide an additional visual cue for drivers. The number of speed signs will be increased and additional lineside digital signage will provide added speed warnings to drivers.

· An in-cab vigilance device is being trialed and should be fitted to all trams by the autumn. Any sign of driver distraction or fatigue will result in the driver being alerted immediately.

· We are working with safety experts to test various options to strengthen the glass fitted to trams.

· Work on developing an in-cab driver alert system for monitoring and managing tram speed is underway.

· The CCTV recording system has been replaced and upgraded.

· The Sarah Hope Line is run by specially trained TfL staff to provide practical and financial help and can make referrals for counselling and specialised support. The contact details for the Sarah Hope Line are 0343 222 5678, or

We and our insurers are dealing with all formal claims as quickly as we can, including making settlements, interim payments and providing access to counselling and other medical support.

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Image attribution
By Rail Accident Investigation Branch (UK Government) -, OGL 3,

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