Wednesday 10 April 2024

Croyfun in Croydon (1)

From Tram to Train To Tram

Back in the day, there were real trams in Croydon, run by Croydon Corporation; thus before London Transport was invented. The local network was quite small but longer distance routes ran to ...
... places off the map whose names are too small for the fbb eyes to read.

Today's tram network should have been the start of a rapid growth of trams in Greater London, but, alas, despite a few bright ideas, no further routes has appeared. 

Docklands Light Railway started as more of a tram than a train, with a fleet of just 11 cars. The network has grown well beyond the aspirations of the early planners.
In fact the cars were quite small by modern tram standards!

Croydon's reborn tram system was relatively easy to build because most of it uses former national rail track bed. Street running applies in Croydon itself ...
... and much of the line to New Addington is in virgin tram territory.

There is one other "non former train" section which we will meet later.

One national rail line that was tramified was from Wimbledon to West Croydon station ...
... via Mitcham Junction.
At Mitcham Junction, the Sutton loop route (now Thameslink) made a junction with the future tram line.
Now the tram sits alongside the national rail station then crosses over the Sutton line on a single track viaduct.
So now there is no junction at Mitcham Junction!

For the other bits of rail rejuvenation we need to look at an older map again. Three routes diverged at Elmers End station ...
... one to Hayes still exists; the other to Addiscombe and Selsdon Road was snaffled directly or indirectly by the tram.
Travelling east from Croydon the routes split with one off north (ish) to Elmers End which included a line to Beckenham Junction diverging near Woodside.

Although there was no railway at Addington as such, the route is mostly in reserved track. 
Trams travelled south then east then south again to New Addington, a huge ex-council housing estate.
The trams run down the western edge of the development with connecting buses penetrating further.
In the early days the link buses were in tram livery of red and white.
First Bus ran the trams and connecting buses as one network - all in a matching livery. Now there's a good idea!
Of course, as you can see above, the trams are no longer red and white ...
... as part of a more tram specific green themed branding. So lots of painting had to be done.

Ot had it?
fbb has dipped into the tram situation at Croydon, but tomorrow we need to look in a bit more detail at the lines to Beckenham Junction and Elmers End.

This is because, a week ago, No 3 son had a need to take the tram from East Croydon to Beckenham Road tram stop,

Only he couldn't.

 Next Croyfun blog : Thursday 11th April 


  1. I can't say that I particularly like the new livery over the old red and white. But it's a delight to see the transformation work in progress by the chaps at the signs company.

  2. Andrew Kleissner10 April 2024 at 08:34

    The line through Coombe Road and Bingham Road closed in 1983, so the tram was by no means a direct substitution for it. In its latter days trains only ran during peak hours.