I’ve never before used the tram service to Croydon, so this was a new experience. The network has 39 stops along 17 miles of track, connecting into the London Underground network at Wimbledon, where I caught the tram from. There are two main different trams on the network, the 23 trams of the older Bombardier CR4000 style and the 12 newer Croydon Stadler Variobahn variety. The above is the latter, and thus the newer model.
The tram service wasn’t overly busy at Wimbledon, although it got busier towards Croydon. It was generally easy to use, although I forgot that it wasn’t the DLR and I tapped in when arriving in Croydon, which isn’t actually necessary. There is also a procedure in Wimbledon to tap in so that the system knows that the passenger used a tram and not a train.
The service was comfortable and the journey was smooth, it’s a shame that more cities around the country can’t afford tram networks such as this. Norwich would perhaps be very well suited to such a network, although I can’t imagine how the initial funding would ever be reached. Although Norwich did have a tram system in the past, it’s very much now for larger cities only, in the UK at least.
A tragedy took place on 9 November 2016, which became news across the world, when a driver managed to overturn a tram, killing seven people. It’s hard to imagine just how a driver could do this, but it was confirmed that it was his error that caused the incident, in what was the first tram crash in the UK since 1959 which led the death of a tram passenger. An inquest into the derailment was meant to start in October 2020, but it has now been delayed until next year.