Report 17/2016: Collision between two trams at Shalesmoor

Collision between two trams at Shalesmoor, Sheffield, 22 October 2015.

At 08:25 hrs on 22 October 2015, Sheffield Supertram 120 collided with tram 118 which was stationary in the tram stop at Shalesmoor. A number of passengers and a member of staff received minor injuries, and the tramway through Shalesmoor was closed for the remainder of the day.

The collision occurred in conditions of low rail head adhesion on the approach to Shalesmoor tram stop at the time. Tram 120 was not being driven in a manner appropriate for the conditions, and its brakes did not provide the level of braking the driver expected. An additional factor was that at the time, tram 118 was at the tram stop and had not been able to depart prior to the collision because it was blocked by road traffic queuing at a yellow box junction ahead.

As a result of this investigation, RAIB has made one recommendation for UK tram operators relating to reviewing and where necessary improving, their processes for managing the risks from low adhesion conditions.

RAIB has also identified one key learning point relating to the performance of magnetic track brakes when the rail head has low adhesion.


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.

RAIB Recommendation response for Shalesmoor

Published 9 August 2016