On Wednesday 23 November 2005 at 08:16 a tram travelling in thick fog towards the New Addington terminus passed a signal displaying “Stop”. The tram came to a stand partially blocking the adjacent line to Croydon.
About the same time, another tram left the New Addington terminus for Croydon on the partially blocked line. The brakes were only applied when the two trams were about 1.5m from each other, resulting in a collision. Neither tram was derailed but the collision significantly damaged both trams. There were no injuries to passengers or staff reported at the time, though subsequently two whiplash injuries were reported.
The immediate cause of the accident was that the driver of the second tram did not react in a timely manner to the obstruction caused on the line. There were several contributing factors to the collision.
RAIB has made five recommendations as a result of its investigation. They cover:
- Re-training drivers on the necessity to use the hazard brake in an emergency (Tram Operations Ltd)
- Assessing the possibility of moving the signal involved (Tramtrack Croydon Ltd)
- Assessing the possibility of fitting SPAS indicators to the section of track involved (Tramtrack Croydon Ltd)
- Reviewing safety guidance to include the provision of suitable over-run distances and/or detection and warning systems at the design stage of tramway systems (Office of Rail Regulation)
- Reminding all drivers of the importance of using hazard warning lights whenever a potentially hazardous situation occurs (Tram Operations Ltd)
Response to recommendations:
- RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body
- RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses