The third of the Variotrams for London Tramlink was delivered to Therapia Lane depot in the early hours of Friday 23rd March. Numbered 2556 this marks the halfway point in deliveries of these extra vehicles for Tramlink as the original order was for six trams to supplement the current fleet.
It has originally been hoped that the first Variotram would have been able to enter service by the end of February but as we approach the end of March it seems an entry into service for these trams is quite a way off. Both 2554 and 2555 have been reported as being seen undergoing daytime test runs on the Tramlink network with at least the former having made it into Croydon Town Centre but it would appear that no drivers have yet to be trained on them which means they won’t be entering service any time soon!
The Variotrams were ordered by Transport for London to help with overcrowding on the network and it is planned that a new line 4 will commence operation from June running between Therapia Lane and Elmers End. The Variotrams will make this extra service possible although they will not be dedicated to the service and should be able to found on any of the Tramlink routes.
A recent request to the Transport for London press office for an update regarding an entry into service for these trams was met by a deafening silence.