March 6, 2012 | Mark Paradies

UK RAIB Press Release: Investigation into the derailment of a tram at East Croydon, South London, 17 February 2012

The UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch published the following press release:

Investigation into the derailment of a tram at East Croydon, South London, 17 February 2012

The RAIB is carrying out an investigation into the derailment of a tram on the London Tramlink system at East Croydon on 17 February 2012.
At about 06:25 hrs, tram 2538 was approaching East Croydon tram stop travelling west from the direction of Sandilands at a speed of about 12 km/h (7.5 mph).  The driver observed that a “points set” indication was showing for the left-hand route, towards platform three.  As the tram passed over motorised facing points, they changed between the first and second bogies, so that the leading bogie took the left-hand route and the centre and trailing bogies took the right-hand route (towards platform two).  The centre bogie was dragged into derailment, the pantograph came off the contact wire, and the tram came to a stop. There were about 100 passengers on board the tram, and none of them were hurt.

Initial investigations indicate that tram 2538 was not detected by the track circuit which locks the facing points, and that the points were commanded to change because platform three was already occupied by a preceding tram.

 Cms Resources East CroydonImage of incident location at East Croydon

The investigation will seek to understand the reasons why the tram was not detected. This will include consideration of the design and condition of the tram, and the rail head conditions at the time of the derailment.
The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigations by the safety authority (the Office of Rail Regulation).

The RAIB will publish a report, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation. This report will be available on the RAIB website.

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