The Anonymous Widower

The Design Of Tram Or Tram-Train Stations

When I wrote the article about using tram-trains in Blackpool, I wanted to include a picture from an existing UK tramway to show what a stop might look like on the Colne Line after conversion to tram-train operation, if that should be decided. The only tramway near me is the Croydon Tramlink, for which my Freedom Pass is valid, so I went to take some pictures.

Some more are shown in this article about Birkbeck Tramlink stop.

I believe that the pictures show the sort of stations you would get on a line like the Colne Line, if you used Class 399 tram-trains instead of Class 142 trains. As Birkbeck shows you can have single-track bi-directional stations in addition to the more normal ones with two platforms, either on the outside of the tracks or as an island between them.

If I’d gone to any other UK tramway and a good few on the continent like Strasbourg, I’d have found similar good design. Although some don’t quite get the step-free access quite as good as Croydon and Strasbourg do.

But next time you get into a Class 142 or some of their dreadful cousins to go to work or for a bit of pleasure in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds or Sheffield, think what train travel could be like in a brand new tram-train that sped you to your destination in complete comfort, in a faster time, than your current scrapyard special.

The experience will be even better, if the stations you use have all of the superb step-free access that you get in Croydon, Strasbourg and Edinburgh.

To sum up my ideal tramway must have.

1. Low floor trams or tram-trains with level access from the platform, with no gap between.

2. Gentle slopes up from street level to the platforms if possible.

3. As few lifts and escalators as possible to break down.

4. Crossing the tracks should be a simple walk across.

5. A shelter on every platform.

6. Good information on use and ticketing, with maps of the network and the local area at every stop and on every vehicle.

7. Multiple next stop displays with a clock on the vehicle. Trains and trams, are well behind London’s buses in this area.

8. Contactless bank card and cashless ticketing. Anything else is so last millennium! If one of the biggest cities in the world; London can do it across all their modes of transport and well upwards of a dozen transport operators, surely all smaller ones can!

9. Free wi-fi!

10. An on-board Train Captain like the Docklands Light Railway!

I’ve never used a tram network that scores ten! Croydon Tramlink scores about eight.

March 8, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. […] If tram-trains were to run on the Colne Line as trams, this would actually be a service upgrade, despite the apparent downgrading of the line from trains to trams. If the powers-that-be thought that more stops were needed, these would be simple affairs, with a low platform on one or both sides of the track, with perhaps a simple shelter and a ticket machine. As on other tram lines in the UK, passengers would walk across the line rather than use an expensive footbridge. To see what is possible on a good tramway, look at this post about good stop design for trams and tram-trains. […]

    Pingback by Could Tram-Trains Be Used To Advantage In Blackpool? « The Anonymous Widower | March 8, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] Stops can be a very simple design without any expensive foot-bridges, lifts or long disabled ramps. Just like Croydon for example! […]

    Pingback by Sudbury To Cambridge – D-Train, IPEMU OR Tram-Train? « The Anonymous Widower | October 26, 2015 | Reply

  3. […] looked at The Design Of Tram Or Tram-Train Stations, which I wrote in March 2015 and came to the conclusion, that Merseyrail’s new trains might […]

    Pingback by Were The New Merseyrail Trains Designed In A South London Pub? « The Anonymous Widower | December 20, 2016 | Reply

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