Croydon tram derailment
Our thoughts remain with those who lost their lives or were injured in the tragedy at Sandilands, and we continue to do all we can to support everyone affected.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) published the report on its investigation into the incident in December 2017 with a further addendum published in October 2018. We welcome these reports and have continued to work alongside the RAIB, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and First Group, who operate the tram network, to ensure all of the recommendations outlined are met.
All the TfL specific recommendations set out by the RAIB have now been completed. These include better signage and warning systems for drivers, additional speed restrictions, an automated braking system across the whole London Trams fleet, enhanced speed monitoring and an upgrade of the CCTV recording system.
An in-cab driver protection device has been fitted to every tram since October 2017, meaning that any sign of driver distraction or fatigue results in the driver being alerted immediately. This is the first time such a device has been used in the rail industry in the UK and has been commended by the ORR. This system has been shared and demonstrated to the UK Tram industry for possible implementation on other tram networks.
We have enhanced the customer complaints process so that all reports are now managed by one dedicated TfL team and any that relate to safety are prioritised for immediate investigation. Improvements have also been made to our website to make it easier to report a safety related incident. The TfL Sarah Hope line remains available to all those affected and continues to provide help with counselling and other support to anyone who needs it.
We also continue to work with the wider tram industry to ensure that lessons are learned from this incident and that we introduce any further measures that could improve the safety of trams across the UK.
Since the incident, we have been working continually to introduce additional safety measures to the tram network, including the following:
- Additional speed restrictions are in force and associated signage has been installed near Sandilands and at 3 other locations on the tram network
- A permanent speed reduction has been implemented across the London tram network, meaning the maximum speed trams can travel is now 70kph (previously 80kph)
- The installation of enhanced chevron signs at the 4 sites with significant bends to provide an additional visual cue for drivers. The number of speed signs has been increased and additional lineside digital signage is providing added speed warnings to drivers
- An in-cab driver protection device has been fitted to all trams since October 2017 to protect against fatigue and distraction
- Working with safety experts, a new higher specification film that is 75 per cent thicker has been installed to improve the containment provided by tram windows and doors
- A new emergency lighting system has been fitted that operates independently of the tram's battery in the event of an emergency
- New tunnel lighting at Sandilands has been installed and is in operation
- An automatic braking system, that brings a moving tram to a controlled stop if exceeding the speed limit at designated locations, has been installed on all trams in the fleet
- Procedures for emergency evacuation from trams have been fully reviewed so that the speed of evacuation is improved
- Route risk assessments and risk models have now been reviewed and updated. We have also shared these with the UK tram industry
The TfL Sarah Hope line remains available to all those affected and continues to provide help with counselling and other support.
This page will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Sarah Hope Line
If you have been affected by the incident and you want to speak to us then please call us or email us through our Sarah Hope Line.
The Sarah Hope Line is run by dedicated TfL staff to provide practical, financial and emotional help and can also make referrals for counselling and specialised support. The contact details for the Sarah Hope Line are 0343 222 5678, or SHL@tfl.gov.uk.
We have been in touch with everyone injured who has notified us of a claim and with the dependents of the people who lost their lives to confirm that liability is admitted in respect of their civil claims. We urge anyone needing further help to contact us straight away.
- Progress update on RAIB recommendations September 2019 (PDF 225KB)
- Progress update on RAIB recommendations March 2019 (PDF 234KB)
- Contract awarded for automatic braking
- Progress update on RAIB recommendations - January 2019 (PDF 234KB)
- Progress update on RAIB recommendations - December 2018 (PDF 186KB)
- Progress update on RAIB recommendations - November 2018 (PDF 178KB)
- Paper to the TfL Board, 24 July 2018 (PDF 170KB)
- Contract notice for automatic braking system
- GLA press release on funding for Croydon Council recovery activities
- Paper to the TfL Safety, Sustainability and HR Panel, 22 January 2018 (PDF 1.4MB)
- TfL response to RAIB report into Croydon tram tragedy
- Paper to the TfL Safety, Sustainability and HR Panel, 22 November 2017
- First anniversary of Croydon tram incident - statement by Mike Brown MVO, London's Transport Commissioner, 9 November 2017
- Paper to the TfL Safety, Sustainability and HR Panel, 28 September 2017
- Croydon tram derailment - TfL's response to latest RAIB update, 3 August 2017
- Paper to the TfL Safety, Sustainability and HR Panel, 26 June 2017 (PDF 41KB)
- Paper to the TfL Safety, Sustainability and HR Panel, 21 March 2017 (PDF 31KB)
- TfL response to RAIB February interim report, 20 February 2017
- Paper to the TfL Board, 8 February 2017 (PDF 82KB)
- Paper to the TfL Safety, Sustainability and HR Panel, 23 January 2017 (PDF 69KB)
- Paper to the TfL Board, 15 December 2016 (PDF 712KB)
- Full Croydon tram services resume, 18 November 2016
- Presentation delivered to TfL's Safety, Sustainability and HR Panel prior to resuming services, 17 November 2016 (PDF 582KB)
- Croydon tram derailment - TfL's response to RAIB interim report, 16 November 2016
- Support for those affected by tram incident, 11 November 2016
- Tram derailment in Croydon - statement by Mike Brown MVO, TfL Commissioner, 9 November 2016
Customers with any concerns or comments about the tram services can contact us 24 hours a day on 0343 222 1234 or through our online contact form.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has conducted an independent investigation into the tragic events of 9 November 2016. The purpose of RAIB investigations is to improve safety by establishing the causes of accidents and making recommendations to reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences in the future or to mitigate their consequences.
The RAIB's investigation included consideration of
- the sequence of events before and during the accident
- events following the accident, including the emergency response and how passengers evacuated from the tram
- the way in which the tram was being driven and any influencing factors
- the design, configuration and condition of the infrastructure on this section of the route, including signage
- the tram's behaviour during the derailment and how people sustained their injuries
- any previous over-speeding incidents at Sandilands Junction
- any relevant underlying management factors
The final report on RAIB's investigation was published on 7 December 2017 and an addendum published on 24 October 2018. The report can be found here.
The RAIB's investigation is independent of any investigation by the tramway industry, the British Transport Police or the Office of Rail and Road.
Following the tragedy, TfL commissioned an independent investigation by SNC Lavalin. The report on this investigation is now available.
The following organisations are also involved in investigating the derailment.
The British Transport Police (BTP) is the national police force for the railways, including tramways.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is the independent economic and safety regulator for Britain's railways, and monitor of performance and efficiency for England's Strategic Road Network.
Trams on our network are operated by Tram Operations Limited, a subsidiary of FirstGroup.
Financial support for Croydon Council recovery activities
In March 2018, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, approved £750,000 of TfL funding over the next three years to support the London Borough of Croydon's community recovery activities following the tragic event at Sandilands in November 2016.
The money will support health and social services in New Addington and the surrounding community, where many of those directly or indirectly affected by the tragedy live.
TfL and Croydon Council will work together over the next three years on identifying projects and allocating the funds.
We will never forget the seven people who lost their lives in the Sandilands tragedy - Dane Chinnery, Donald Collett, Robert Huxley, Philip Logan, Dorota Rynkiewicz, Philip Seary and Mark Smith. We know these inquests have been deeply distressing for their families and friends and all those involved. We continue to provide support to everyone affected.
The inquests started on Monday 17 May 2021 and the jury delivered their conclusions on Thursday 22 July 2021.
TfL representatives, including Mark Davis the General Manager for London Trams, attended the inquests throughout demonstrating our commitment to ensure that we learn lessons for the future to ensure nothing like this accident happens again. Safety will always be our number one priority, and we continue to review our operation and to work with the wider tram industry to introduce any further measures that may benefit the people who rely on our services.
The jury gave a short form conclusion of accident and a narrative conclusion which included factors that contributed to the deaths as follows:
Tram Operations Ltd (TOL) the operator and part of First Group
- The risk assessment process failed to sufficiently identify the risk of the tram overturning and crashing at the tight Sandilands curve at high risk with the probability of fatalities
- TOL identified the importance of line of site driving and route knowledge but failed to identify additional measures to mitigate risk
- The lack of a 'just culture' discouraged drivers from reporting health and safety concerns
The driver, employed by TOL
- The driver lost awareness and became disorientated ahead of the Sandilands curve probably due to a micro-sleep
- Following this the driver failed to hit the braking point by which time the tram was travelling too fast to negotiate the Sandilands curve
- The result was a high speed derailment, the tram overturning and seven fatalities
Prevention of Future Deaths report
The Senior Coroner confirmed that she had received written submissions about the Prevention of Future Death (PFD) issues and will be making a decision about issuing a PFD report and reasons soon.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) prosecuted both TfL and Tram Operations Limited (TOL), a subsidiary of FirstGroup plc, for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, etc 1974. Both organisations pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
We have shared details of the safety improvements we've made since the tragedy as well as the focus we place on safety across all our operations.
The driver was prosecuted by ORR for an alleged failure as an employee to take reasonable care of passengers while employed at work driving the tram. He pleaded not guilty and was acquitted by a jury on 19 June 2023.
TfL and TOL were then sentenced for the offences to which they had pleaded guilty.
Commissioner Andy Lord, Chief Safety Officer Lilli Matson, Chief Operating Officer Glynn Barton, and General Manager for Trams Mark Davis attended the three day sentencing hearing. Acting Chief Finance Officer Patrick Doig also attended parts of the sentencing hearing. Those attending heard emotional accounts from people injured and the families of those who died of the devastating impact the tragedy had on them and those accounts will never be forgotten.
At the hearing, an apology was read to the court on behalf of the Commissioner as follows:
"I would like to personally apologise on behalf of everyone at Transport for London and London Trams, past and present, for the tragedy that occurred on the morning of 9 November 2016. None of us can begin to appreciate the enormity of the loss suffered by the families and friends of Dane Chinnery, Donald Collett, Robert Huxley, Philip Logan, Dorota Rynkiewicz, Philip Seary and Mark Smith; or of the impact on the lives of the many who suffered injury, such as Stephen Kennedy, their families and friends.
"The 69 passengers entrusted their safety to us and we failed them. Words cannot adequately convey the strength of my apology to all of them for the distress, pain and suffering they have endured, and continue to endure."
TfL's Note on Mitigation can be found here which was considered by the court as to the application of the sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences.
The sentencing remarks of the judge can be found here: R -v- TfL sentencing.
The Commissioner Andy Lord said after the sentencing:
"On Wednesday 9 November 2016, a tram overturned and derailed as it approached the Sandilands stop in Croydon. Seven people lost their lives that morning and 62 people were injured, 19 of them seriously.
"We will never forget those who died, nor those who were hurt and impacted by what was an incredibly tragic accident.
"At all times since the tragedy occurred, we rightly - and swiftly - accepted responsibility, doing everything we possibly could to ensure the right support was in place to help all those affected. In court, we heard from people who were injured and the families of those who died and the devastating impact the accident had - we will always be truly sorry for what happened.
"Since the accident, we've made extensive safety improvements to make the tram network safer for everyone. We continually review the tram network to ensure we are running the safest possible operation."
The fine has been paid and TfL reaffirms its commitment to deliver a safe and reliable transport network.
Together, we will do all we can to prevent such a tragedy ever happening again on any part of our transport network.