At least seven people died as a result of the accident and a further 50 people were taken to hospital, most of whom have since been released.
The LRV was operating a service from New Addington to Wimbledon via Croydon town centre. It derailed just after leaving Sandilands tunnel at Sandilands Junction, which is where LRVs from the Beckenham Junction/Elmers End and New Addington branches converge, shortly before they arrive at Sandilands to the east of Croydon town centre. LRVs approaching from the New Addington direction must negotiate a sharp, left-hand curve with a speed limit of 20km/h before reaching the junction.
“The derailment occurred on the curve and initial indications suggest that the tram was travelling at a significantly higher speed than is permitted,” says Raib. “We are currently collecting evidence needed to identify factors relevant to the cause of the accident and its consequences. Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the tramway industry, or the British Transport Police.”
Raib says it will publish an interim report on its website next week. This will be followed by a final report, including any safety recommendations, when its investigation has been completed.
In the meantime, services have been suspended between East Croydon and Addington Village, Harrington Road and Elmers End while repairs to the track and systems are carried out. It is hoped that this part of the network will reopen on November 14.
The 28km network is operated by Trams Operations, a subsidiary of First Group, under a concession which runs until 2030.