The Anonymous Widower

London Tram Enhancements Included In Growth Fund

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in Metro Report International.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Transport for London is to finance around one-third of the cost of double-tracking the Elmers End branch of the tram network, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced on May 21.

TfL is to provide £3·3m from its Growth Fund towards the estimated £9m estimated project cost. In addition to double-tracking the short branch, this would add a second tram platform to the Elmers End terminus. TfL says that this would enable service improvements and ‘address reliability issues’ on the network.

This map from, shows the track layout between the Arena tram stop and Elmers End station.

My thoughts on the various works follow.


From the map, it doesn’t appear that a very large amount of track needs to be doubled.

This Google Map shows some of the single track section of the route.

Note the passing loop to the South of Elmers End is visible, at the top of the map.

It would also appear that there is space to add the second track, which used to exist when the tram line was the Addiscombe Line.

These pictures, which were taken from a tram, show the section of line in the map.

I suspect that a second track linking the double track at Arena to the passing loop South of Elmers End can be created.

Electrification Or Battery

Battery trams will soon be running on many tram networks around the world, including Birmingham in the UK.

Tramlink has a problem, in that they have two types of trams.

  • Twenty-four CR4000 delivered before 2000.
  • Twelve Variobahn delivered after 2010.

Because of their age, I think the CR4000 trams might be difficult to be fitted with batteries.

But Munich already has Variobahn trams fitted with batteries.

If battery power were needed just on the route to Elmers End, I think it would not be an economic decision to fit all trams with batteries.

Obviously, if in the future, more trams were to be ordered, there may be other routes, where batteries are ideal.

I don’t think, there will be any issues about putting up more wires.

Being able to use the current trams on the new track to Elmers End would be very convenient

For these and other reasons, I suspect this line will be electrified.

The New Elmers End Platform

Elmers End is the only one of the four Tramlink termini with a single platform, as Beckenham Junction, New Addington and Wimbledon all have two platforms.

So a second platform at Elmers End would surely make running a service easier, when things go a bit awry.

The need was illustrated as my tram left Elmers End. We stopped for a couple of minutes in the passing loop just outside the station to let another tram enter the platform.

After the proposed works, the two trams would have passed on the double-track to the East of the Arena tram stop.

This Google Map shows the platforms at Elmers End station.


These pictures show the station and in particular, the current single tram platform.


  1. Platform level is such, that platform-to-tram is step-free.
  2. The current platform has a cross-platform interchange with the Northbound Platform 2 on the Hayes Line.
  3. It would appear, that there is space alongside for a second platform, although it might mean the loss of some car parking spaces.
  4. Some equipment might need to be moved.
  5. The footbridge could probably need to be made step-free.
  6. There is space to add the gantries for the electrification.

The original Addiscombe Line had a platform on the other side of the tracks as shown in the map earlier in this post.

I doubt this old layout will be used, as a flat junction would be rather difficult to operate and a flyover would be expensive.

Could we see a staggered platform layout, so that both platforms are accessible from Platform 2?

This map from shows the track arrangement at New Addington.

The line appears to be singled a convenient distance from the terminus and then it splits again just outside the platforms.

Beckenham Junction and Wimbledon, both use a similar track layout.

If a layout similar to this were to be applied at Elmers End, it would have the collateral benefit of reducing the current three sets of points to two.

A single track, would also be easy to squeeze through the gap into Elmers End, provided there was space for the points before the platforms.

I believe this layout, would work with staggered platforms.

Would The Elmers End Platforms Be Made Longer?

Wikipedia talks about expanding Tramlink. Under Phase C of Trams 2030, this is said.

Furthermore, if extra capacity is required, tram stops could be lengthened to serve either longer trams or two trams coupled together on services between Wimbledon and Beckenham Junction or Elmers End.

I think that Elmers End will be future-proofed.

An Increase In Frequency To Elmers End

The Wikipedia entry for Elmers End station, says this about current tram frequencies under Services.

Trams depart from the station every 12 minutes; this service falls to four trams per hour during the early morning and evenings. Each tram travels towards Croydon town centre; trams on Route 1 continue to West Croydon tram stop, before travelling back as Route 2 to Beckenham Junction, while trams on Route 4 continue to Wimbledon.

A second platform would surely allow the five trams per hour frequency to be doubled to ten trams per hour, if this was thought necessary.

These trams would either be turned in Croydon or continue to Wimbledon.

Some might use a proposed diverting loop in Dingwall Road, by East Croydon station.

More Trams

If more trams are needed, I’m sure Stadler would oblige with a few new Variobahn trams.

Future Expansion

I also think, that because after the Elmers End scheme is completed, all the Tramlink termini will have two platforms, this will make it much easier to expand the system.


It seems a relatively simple scheme with no serious construction problems.






May 23, 2018 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

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