The London Transport Forum visits Tramlink

As part of Croydon’s Heritage Festival London Trams offered guided tours of it’s Tramlink Depot for one day only and I decided to go along to see how this great operation works.

The first thing I noticed was the size, it’s smaller than a rail depot however given the system only covers a small part of South London I expected it to be somewhat small. We began by meeting at the main reception where the seating is covered in Tramlink moquette and a ‘Trams 2030‘ map is displayed on the wall before Tramlink Head of Operations Nick Baker explained what the tour would entail.

TRAM0133We began by going upstairs to the Tramlink Control Centre where the entire network is run from, CCTV is monitored and help point calls are answered, if you’re a regular commuter on the Tramlink network chances are you’ve appeared on the CCTV screens in this room at some point. We were shown how all the systems work including how to instantly change a signal and put an entire section of track out of use which of course are functions which are only used during emergencies. We were then shown various different areas around the depot.

We then moved onto the maintenance area and witnessed two Bombardier CR4000 Trams (2538 & 2530) undergoing refurbishment, all CR4000 Trams are currently being refurbished to make them fit for the future. We were shown around various parts of the maintenance area followed by the tram washing area.

We then went outside where two Trams were parked, one original Bombardier CR4000 Tram (2541)and a brand new Stadler Rail Variobahn Tram (2559) which was delivered to Tramlink in 2012 and was the last of the initial order to be delivered, in August 2013 TfL order an additional four Stadler Rail Variobahn Trams to increase the Variobahn fleet to 10 and the total Tram fleet to 34. We got to check out both Trams inside and out and even got to sit in the cab, we were told about all the differences between the Trams including special features including the Variobahns ability to know exactly how many passengers are on the Tram at any one time.

TRAM0146To finish up we were given an actual London Trams Map used on all Trams and ‘London Trams’ Chocolate which I enjoyed very much although travelling to Croydon on a Tram and then home on the train with a full sized London Trams does get you some weird looks.

I would like to thank all parties involved in allowing us to attend this tour including London Trams, First Group and Croydon Heritage Festival.

Our photos from the tour can be found here:, these photos can also be found on our Facebook.

For more information on Tramlink visit:

To get involved in our Tramlink discussions visit:

Kyle Stuart-Woodard

The London Transport Forum Owner & Founder.

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