A new system that automatically applies the brakes should the speed limit be exceeded at high risk locations on London’s Tramlink tram network could be installed by the end of 2019.
The new safety measure is one of a number of changes Transport for London (TfL) is introducing in the wake of the Croydon tram crash.
Seven passengers died and more than 50 were left injured when a tram derailed and overturned at Sandilands junction on the London tram network on November 9, 2016.
Marking the beginning of the tender process for the new system, TfL rail director Jonathan Fox said that the organisation’s thoughts remain with those affected by the tragedy and that these initiatives are to ensure that “such a tragedy never happens again.”
Following the qualification process, an official invitation to tender will be issued in the summer with the contract due to be awarded by the end of 2018.
Work began on the feasibility of introducing this system shortly after the tragedy as part of a wider programme that has already seen: a permanent speed reduction across the tram network, more speed monitoring, enhanced signage at significant bends, and the installation of a driver protection device that alerts to any incident of fatigue, distraction or speeding.
The new system will automatically bring a moving tram to a controlled stop if it were to exceed the speed limit at a designated location. It will also automatically alert the operations control centre.
Although initially configured to priority locations, as suggested by the Rail Accident Investigations Branch, the system will have the flexibility to be introduced elsewhere on the tram network.