Published 13th March 2012
CROYDON - The first of six new trams has been delivered to Croydon Tramlink as part of a multi-million investment in the network. The tram, No. 2554, is being used initially for driver training after which it will be used in normal passenger service.
More than £16m is being spent to increase the London Tramlink fleet, which has seen a rise in passengers numbers of 45 percent since it opened in 2000. The six new Variobahn trams are being built by Swiss firm Stadler, with one being delivered every month until June.
Once all six are in service they will be used on a new ‘Route 4’, which effectively increases capacity on the existing cross-town route from Therapia Lane to Elmers End. However they can be used on any other route if required.
The new trams are 2.5 longer than the existing fleet of Bombardier CR4000s, which means some platforms have had to be extended. The trams feature five sections running on three bogies, and have the capacity to carry up to 200 passengers with 72 seated.
Transport for London has the option to buy up to eight more Variobahns from Stadler should it go ahead with proposed route extensions to Crystal Palace and Sutton. These plans are said to have a good business case, but as yet funding is not available.