2016 Croydon tram derailment

2016 Croydon tram derailment
Sandilands Junction derailed tram.jpg
The derailed tram at Sandilands Junction
2016 Croydon tram derailment is located in Greater London
2016 Croydon tram derailment
2016 Croydon tram derailment is located in London Borough of Croydon
2016 Croydon tram derailment
Date9 November 2016
06:07 GMT
LocationClose to Sandilands tram stop, Croydon, London
Coordinates51°22′27″N 0°04′32″W / 51°22′27″N 0°04′32″W / 51.3743; -0.0755
CountryUnited Kingdom
OperatorFirstGroup for Tramlink
Incident typeDerailment
CauseExcessive speed on curve due to driver error (microsleep).
Injuries62 (19 serious)
All routes
Sandilands Tunnels
Lloyd Park
A map of the accident scene, showing the tram lying by the southern half of a fork junction
Location where the tram came to rest. The blue arrows indicate the direction of travel.
A photo of the accident site in 2010, showing a tram exiting the tunnel and entering the curve
The site of the derailment, in 2010. The tram is running towards the camera and entering the sharp curve on which the derailment occurred.

On 9 November 2016, a tram operated by Tramlink derailed and overturned on a sharp bend approaching a junction.[1][2] Of a total sixty-nine passengers, there were seven fatalities and sixty-two injured, nineteen of whom sustained serious injuries.[3] This was the first tram incident in the United Kingdom in which passengers were killed since 1959.[1]

The service was running from New Addington to Wimbledon via Croydon, and was on the approach to Sandilands tram stop soon after 6:00.[4] The second interim report into the accident indicated that although the speed limit approaching the junction was 20 km/h (12 mph), the tram had been travelling at approximately 73 kilometres per hour (45 mph).[5] Driver error was found to be the cause of the accident.[3]


Tram 2551, the tram involved in the incident, operating route 3 in 2010

The accident took place in the dark and during heavy rain at 06:07,[6] on a sharp left curve approach­ing the points where the route from New Addington (on which the tram was operating) converges with the line from Beckenham Junction and Elmers End.[4][7][8] 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 (1.6 km) straight section of track after leaving Lloyd Park tram stop. It has been described as a "sharp bend",[9] and has a 20 km/h (12 mph) speed restriction.[6]

The tram entered the curve at a speed of approximately 73 kilometres per hour (45 mph)[5] and derailed, overturning on its right side and coming to a stand 25 metres (27 yd) beyond the point of derailment, damaging the side of the tram and ejecting several passengers through broken windows.[5] The tram involved was No. 2551, a Bombardier CR4000 constructed in 1998 by Bombardier Transportation, a two-section articulated unit with a maximum design speed of 80 km/h (50 mph).[5]

The emergency services confirmed that 51 people were injured, and initially stated that five had been killed.[9][10] The death toll later rose to seven.[11] The victims, six men and a woman, were between 19 and 63 years old.[12] Sixteen of the survivors were described as having serious or life-threatening injuries.[5][13] The final casualty figures were seven killed and 62 injured, 19 seriously. One person was uninjured.[3]

It was the deadliest tram accident in the United Kingdom since an accident at Dover in 1917 killed eleven and injured 60,[14][15] and the first in the United Kingdom in which passengers were killed since three people died in an accident in Glasgow in 1959.[1] It is also the deadliest accident on any rail network in the UK since the 2001 Great Heck rail crash.[15]