Report 28/2007: Derailment at Phipps Bridge

Derailment of a tram at Phipps Bridge on Croydon Tramlink, 25 May 2006


On Thursday 25 May 2006 a tram travelling eastbound between Wimbledon and Croydon derailed on the approach to Phipps Bridge tram stop. As the tram approached the points they had remained, incorrectly, in the reverse position after the last tram in the opposite direction. After the leading bogie of the tram had passed over them the points sprang back into the normal position. With the front and rear of the tram diverging, the centre bogie derailed. There were no injuries caused by the derailment.

A derailment had occurred at the same location in very similar circumstances on 21 October 2005. The report of the RAIB investigation into this incident was published on 29 March 2006.

The immediate cause of the derailment was that the tram driver did not react to the ‘points not correctly set’ indication on the signal approach to Phipps Bridge, and so did not stop the tram before the points. Causal factors were the points not returning to their normal position following the passage of the previous tram; the points then changing position as the tram passed over them; and the poor visibility of the indicator display when the points are not set correctly. In addition there were four contributory factors to the incident.

RAIB has made two recommendations as a result of the report, aimed at:

  • ensuring the competence of staff working on points mechanisms
  • driver training programmes.

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 Phipps Bridge 2007

Published 10 December 2014