Tramlink inquest delay confirmed until Spring 2021

It has been confirmed that the inquest into the London Tramlink derailment at Sandilands in November 2016 will now not take place until spring 2021. The inquest had originally been due to start on 10th October but was delayed as a result of Coronavirus restrictions and with England now in lockdown it has been decided this delay will be extended until next year. The derailment saw seven people lose their lives when the tram derailed on the curve at Sandilands as a result of the driver losing awareness and not lowering the speed of the tram sufficiently. The inquest will be heard in front of a jury.

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1 Response to Tramlink inquest delay confirmed until Spring 2021

  1. Tulyar says:

    Prior to 2006 (ROGS to ROTS change) crashes on guided busways would have been investigated, and 8 closely similar crashes, where drivers entered low speed sections and crashed by leaving the track, would have highlighted this issue.

    A second transfer from bus, comes from the RAIB note following the Croydon tram crash, which, whilst dealt with as a road collision, as a better and openly published report, in the RAIB’s note than delivered by Croydon Council as the roads authority (per Section 39 RTA 1988) or HSE, if the tram track on street is considered as ‘premises’ and managed along the lines originally defined by the 1870 Tramways Act. This highlighted the issue of using non-laminated glass in side windows, as a factor in the death of the bus passenger – ejected through a window – a major factor in the 2016 tram crash deaths

    Interesting also to compare how a heavy rail vehicle on heavy rail track might have performed in similar circumstances, with some cornering derailments where heavy rail vehicles had remained on the rails at almost 3 times the permitted speeds, and the derailments triggered by a point of weakness in the track, through lack of cant or an abrupt transition or change in this or curve radius. Whilst the ploy and calculations show the mechanics of the overturning and derailment there is a question to pose on whether a tighter regime on transitions for vertical and horizontal deflections of the track might make some tram journeys more comfortable, and reduce the risk of derailment, at the cost of not ‘fitting’ inside the restricted space available through either the physical dimensions on-street, or the demands of road traffic management. The notorious section of Edinburgh’s on-street network at Haymarket has been created by the requirement that the Westbound track was moved over to allow for motor traffic passing through the complex road junction and crossing the tram tracks

    A further, but according to the 2016 report, not relevant to this crash, question might also be asked following the derailments in Croydon, Edinburgh Airport, and Sheffield might be the comparative ease with which a tram can be knocked off the track when in collision with a large road vehicle, and how this may relate to work carried out by Manchester Metropolitan University on flange climbing. The Croydon crash in 2008 saw the tram running away down the street and crashing, I think, into a shop front.

    I’m collating these common factor details, along with a folder on busway crashes which – as line of sight operated systems, which could (but don’t yet) have beacon activated speed limiters to prevent the trail of busway derailments, with worrying excursions into the path of oncoming buses, or through a walking and cycling route plus serious but also including fatal injuries where 50mph buses run alongside pedestrians and cyclists with no median strip or protection to contain derailed buses or pedestrians/cyclists ‘tripping ober the edge kerbing, and rear end shunts, twice in close succession, at low speed on Metrolink, but a spectacular 50mph crash (June 2016) on the Dunstable guided busway which ripped a seat from the floor on one bus, propelled the other (broken down) bus 30 metres and sent 19 to hospital, but as yet no published report, and in that respect a concerned feeling when your tram stops at a platform, just around a corner, when you’ve been watching the tram behind, also doing 50mph, on the preceding long straight section.

    I’d welcome any notes and commentary on crash investigation and the related risk management by e-mail

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