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TfL seeks suppliers for post-Croydon automatic braking system on London Trams

The London Trams network will receive an installation of a new automatic braking system that will apply the brakes should the speed limit be exceeded at high-risk locations.

Plans to install the new system were formulated shortly after the Croydon disaster in November 2016, where a speeding tram’s driver lost awareness before the tram derailed on a bend near Sandilands station, killing seven people and injuring 51.

The disaster prompted TfL to improve a variety of safety measure across the network – including permanent speed reduction across all trams, increased speed monitoring, enhanced signage at specific bends, and the installation of a driver protection device that alerts to any alerts of fatigue, distraction or speeding.

If tram exceeds the speed limit at a specific location, the new system, which has now been put to tender, will bring the moving tram to a halt whilst automatically notifying the operations control centre at TfL.

The organisation is looking to hear from interested companies that have innovative solutions to meet the specification. A contract notice has now been issued through the OJEU.

Jonathan Fox, TfL’s director of rail and sponsored services, said: “Our thoughts remain with all those affected by the tragedy at Sandilands and we continue to do all we can to support them.

“This new braking system is just one of the additional safety measures we have been working continually on for the tram network to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.

“We continue to liaise with other tram operators across the country to assist them in addressing the RAIB recommendation for their networks.”

The system aims to be installed and in operation by the end of 2019, including a period of training with tram drivers before the system becomes fully operational.

 Image Credit: BeyondImages

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