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Carriage 2548 on line 2 at the Arena stop
Basic information
Country Great Britain
city London
opening May 11, 2000
operator Tram Operations Ltd. (A subsidiary of the FirstGroup )
Web presence
Route length 28 km
Gauge 1435 mm ( standard gauge )
Power system 750 V DC overhead line
Stops 39
Lines 4th
Clock in the peak hours 3 1/2 min regular route
vehicles 24 Bombardier CR4000
6 Stadler Variobahn
Top speed 80 km / h
Passengers 31,000,000 (2014/15)
Network plan
Geographic network map
Line 3 outside East Croydon Station (April 2004)

Tramlink (previously under the name Croydon Tramlink known) is a tram network in the south of London , which by the transport company Transport for London is operated. The network is 28 kilometers long, opened in May 2000, is mainly located in the Croydon district and offers numerous connections to railway and underground lines. In the center of Croydon, the trams run flush with the street on a single-track loop of houses; however, the vast majority of the network consists of former or existing railway lines. As early as 1861/62 with George Train's horse-drawn trams in London and from 1870 to 1952 there had been tram companies in London . The Croydon tram operated in Croydon from 1879 to 1951 .


The current line network consists of the following lines (as of April 2018):

line Line course
(1) West Croydon  - East Croydon  - Sandilands - Addiscombe - Arena - Elmers End
only operates early in the morning and late in the evening
(2) Wimbledon  - Mitcham  - Mitcham Junction  - Therapia Lane - West Croydon (only →) - East Croydon - Sandilands - Addiscombe - Arena - Birkbeck  - Beckenham Junction
(3) West Croydon - East Croydon - Sandilands - Gravel Hill - Addington Interchange - New Addington
(4) Wimbledon - Mitcham - Mitcham Junction - Therapia Lane - West Croydon (only →) - East Croydon - Sandilands - Addiscombe - Arena - Elmers End does not operate
early in the morning or late in the evening

Lines 2, 3 and 4 are the main lines. Lines 2 and 4 run every 10 minutes during the day, every 15 minutes in the evening and on Sundays, and line 3 every day every 7/8 minutes. Line 1 replaces line 4 early in the morning and late in the evening and runs every 15 minutes during its operating hours. Some lines 1 and 3 run to / from the depot on Therapia Lane. Since February 2018, the Tramlink line numbers are no longer displayed on vehicles or used in the official timetable information.


Partly because the district has no connection to the underground network, the new tram was developed in the 1990s by the Croydon Council in cooperation with London Regional Transport (LRT), the then operator of bus transport in London. The Tramlink was operated by Tramtrack Croydon Limited (TCL), a consortium made up of FirstGroup , Bombardier , Sir Robert McAlpine , Amey , Royal Bank of Scotland and 3i . There was a tariff cooperation with London Regional Transport . For the actual operation, Tramtrack handed over to the subcontractor First CentreWest Buses . The Tramlink uses former railway lines on many sections of the route, including the Woodside and South Croydon Railway in the area of ​​Sandilands and former branch lines of British Rail from Croydon to Wimbledon and from Addiscombe to Elmers End and Birkbeck. Between Birkbeck and Beckenham Junction, the tram track runs alongside a regular railway track, where Southern currently provides regional train services.

As a forerunner operation, an express bus line TL1 (Tramlink Limited) was opened from Wimbledon station via Mitcham Junction to West Croydon on June 2, 1997 , when the train service between these stations was set for the conversion. The bus only ran daily from Monday to Saturday. The tram was originally supposed to go into operation in autumn 1999, but the completion was delayed by half a year. The opening then took place gradually in May 2000. Line 3 from West Croydon to New Addington first went into operation on May 10th. On May 23, line 2 followed to Beckenham Junction and finally on May 31, line 1 followed with the two sections to Wimbledon and Elmers End. As of May 31, 2000 there were three lines:

  • Line 1: Wimbledon –Mitcham Junction– West Croydon - East Croydon –Sandilands – Arena – Elmers End
  • Line 2: West Croydon – East Croydon – Sandilands – Arena – Beckenham Junction
  • Line 3: West Croydon – East Croydon – Sandilands – Addington Village – New Addington

On July 23, 2006 the network was restructured. The route to Wimbledon was served by trains on Line 3 from New Addington instead of Line 1 trains from Elmers End. In June 2008 Tramtrack was bought for £ 98 million by the city authority Transport for London (TfL). The color of the tram was then changed from red to green to contrast with the red London buses. In addition, the name was simplified from Croydon Tramlink to Tramlink and the tram was part of the London Trams division of TfL. The subcontractor First Tram Operations now operates the Tramlink. After this takeover, the Variobahns were bought and Line 4 was introduced.

On June 25, 2012, a booster line 4 was introduced in rush hour, which ran from Therapia Lane to Elmers End. This expansion of the offer was made possible by the fact that six new Variobahn type railways were put into service. As of April 2016, the line was extended to Wimbledon.

When the tram opened in May 2000, three connecting bus routes T31, T32 and T33 were also put into operation from various Tramlink stops in Addington. On October 24, 2015, route T33 was renamed 433, while the other two were replaced by route changes on routes 64, 130 and 353.


Car 2551 in the old color scheme on line 1 towards Elmers End (August 2004)


Tramlink owns 24 articulated low-floor vehicles that were built by Bombardier in Vienna . The vehicles of the CR4000 series are based on the K4000 model of the Cologne Stadtbahn and only differ from them in a few details. Bombardier now uses the name Flexity Swift for this vehicle family . The vehicles are 30.1 meters long and 2.65 meters wide, have 70 seats and a capacity of 200 passengers. The floor height is 40 cm, in the entry area 35 cm.


Car 2556 on Line 4 towards Elmers End at Addiscombe stop (July 2012)

After the private operator Tramtrack Croydon Ltd. was taken over by Transport for London in 2008 and thus passed into public ownership, the procurement of further vehicles was put out to tender in 2011 to expand the offer. The Swiss manufacturer Stadler Rail has been supplying six five-part Variobahn trains to London since January 2012. They correspond to the vehicles used by the Bergen light rail system . The cars are 32.37 meters long and 2.65 meters wide, have 72 seats (and 12 folding seats ) and a capacity of 206 passengers. The floor height is 38.5 centimeters, with the interior of the car being step-free. There is a single door at the front left and three double doors on each side of the car. On June 25, 2012, all new Variobahns were officially put into operation.


There are plans for numerous expansions of the network, for example to Crystal Palace , Purley, Streatham, Sutton and Tooting. In order to make the future expansion of the network clearer, the name was changed from Croydon Tramlink to Tramlink.

Accident 2016

derailed vehicle

In a serious accident on November 9, 2016, seven people died and more than fifty were injured when a tram on Line 3 coming from New Addington derailed in the left-hand bend in front of Sandilands Junction and overturned on its side at around 6:10 a.m. At this point, the straight route from the converted railway line of the Woodside and South Croydon Joint Railway leads at a narrow 90 ° angle to the newly built tram line towards Croydon. The maximum speed of 20 km / h had been exceeded and the driver was arrested. The examiner Rail Accident Investigation Branch (Raib) came to the conclusion that the driver was possibly due to temporary lower demand in falling asleep expire and have therefore the speed is not reduced sufficiently.

Web links

Commons : Tramlink  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Time signature
  2. Line list London (private website)
  3. ^ New tram service pattern & timetable. Transport for London , accessed April 12, 2018 .
  4. Presentation of the new Variobahn on YouTube
  5. Five dead in tram accident - driver arrested on November 9, 2016 on
  6. p. 11 S23