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TfL to add in-cab warning systems to trams after Croydon crash

A new internal speed monitoring system that will tell tram drivers when to brake could be introduced by TfL after the Croydon accident that killed seven people last year.

The crash, which occurred on 9 November 2016, happened after a tram was found to be travelling three times over the speed limit when it derailed on a curve as it approached Sandilands Junction.

Later investigations by the RAIB in February found that the tram driver may have lost awareness before the derailment that claimed the lives of seven people and injured over 50.

This led TfL to admit liability for the crash in March as the families of victims started to begin legal claims against the company for the accident.

And now, TfL has announced that it is seeking interest from the wider industry to develop the Automated Vehicle Speed Monitoring systems, which would alert drivers when the tram is going dangerously fast. 

It also wants to install driver vigilance devices that would warn the driver if they have fallen asleep before applying the brakes if no driver activity is detected for a certain period of time.

Jonathan Fox, TfL’s director of London Rail, said that “our thoughts remain with all those affected by the tragic tram derailment” and the company is continuing to “do all we can to offer our support”.

“Since the tragic derailment we have been working on the development of an in-cab driver alert system for monitoring and managing tram speed,” he said. “We are now seeking interest from the wider industry to help support us in the development and introduction of that system.”

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Andrew Gwilt   17/06/2017 at 21:30

Still will be the worst tram accident in South London.

Pwt   19/06/2017 at 12:18

Probably the worse tram accident anywhere!

Grace Nodes   20/06/2017 at 11:19

Historically tram drivers stood whilst driving, although a small bottom perch was sometimes provided, little different from Southern Electrics until recent times. Cabs were frequently noisy and drafty. Scope for falling asleep/dozing was very limited. Contrast this with modern vehicles on both main line a tramways with air conditioned cabs and comfortable sitting position! The need for vigilance devices becomes paramount. It is therefore very surprising that these trams do not have such devices. I doubt that any risk assessment would show much difference between tram and heavy rail operation in this respect. Having said this such devices are not foolproof, see RAIB Report 15/2011.

Dorian   21/06/2017 at 12:24

TfL could also take a more basic railway engineering action today by re-laying the track to increase the curve radius and thereby reduce the deficiency of cant at Sandilands Jcn within their existing boundary - I know this because I have drafted a wider radius curve on the digital map data. Former BRB civil engineer

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