A Tram for All Seasons

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer

Praise for our ice-beating tram staff from the people of Croydon

AMID the gridlocked roads, cancelled trains and rerouted buses, there was one form of transport that remained on the right track during last week’s snowfall.

Croydon’s trams weathered the conditions to run a near-perfect service, providing a lifeline to thousands of commuters.

Tramlink avoided cancellations, lengthy delays and the avalanche of criticism which, rightly or wrongly, fell on those in charge of the borough’s roads and train lines.

The service received dozens of e-mails thanking staff for their commitment and determination, with one passenger, Shirley Thring, nearly “moved to tears”.


From Croydon, Basle, Brussels, Budapest, Den Haag, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt & Hanover toAi??Helsinki, Ai??Manchester, Moscow, Nottingham, Paris, Portland, Stockholm, Toronto, Warsaw & Zurich. Light Rail & Tram systems in Europe & North AmericaAi??Ai??have been running faultlessly in the recent arctic conditions, unlike Vancouver’s Canada Line which embarrasingly failed on November 25th after only 10cm of snow fell.

The following image was taken yesterday in Finland’s capital Helsinki.

“… the weather’s bad, the roads are blocked and only the Trams are running….”


5 Responses to “A Tram for All Seasons”
  1. CLC says:

    “A Tram for All Seasons”? I would say surface tram also have its weakness in different weather. From my experience, it is the flash flood situation, which has caused some of the world most busiest tram lines shutdown. On the other hand , while rain (flood) may cause closure of entrance of a few subway station, but It is relatively rare for shutdown of the metro operation (for subway or elevated train)

  2. zweisystem says:

    Very picky indeed. If a flood is severe enough to shut a tram line, then I would wager that there would be no need for tram operation. What is the use of an elevated transit system, if one cannot get to a station in case of a flood? What example have you of a flash flood shutting down a tram line?

  3. CLC says:

    To Zwei:

    Not picky at all.

    Flash flood is common occurences in many cities of tropical or sub-tropical climates. Hong kong’s YuenLong LRT and Island tram both could be shutdown in “Black Rain” flood, while MTR heavy rail still run perfectly. Melbourne also saw its share of flood situation caused tram stoppage.

  4. zweisystem says:

    One concedes that the success of elevated light metro in South Asia can not just be attributed to large populations but to monsoon rains. But to allude that monsoon rains are common place elsewhere is stretching it a wee too much. Yet monsoon rains can also cause problems on elevated lines as well. A little bit of research has shown that metro stoppages on elevated lines can be blamed on heavy rains flooding the guideway. Life is not as cut and dried as one would think.

    The problem in Vancouver boils down to this, a small but very expensive metro system that has been very poor in creating a modal shift or a larger and much cheaper LRT system that would be more attractive to those wishing for alternative transportation. The failure of the Canada Line to attract the motorist from the car has been ignored, while they pretend carrying former bus riders on the new metro is something to cheer about. TransLink loves to plan for failure then hire six figure spin doctors to tell fairy tales!

  5. Tohqu says:

    In Helsinki, even trams are not running, Because of snowploughs! Snowplough’s pushes the snow in to the side of street, where car’s are parked, and because of all snow in there, there’s no else place to park you’r car than the street what prevents tram from running. (most of the track in helsinki is on road!) Altough that was the situation before christmas and i don’t know how it its now, because i live in Vantaa, where the tram DOES NOT GO!! (About ~20 kilometers from Helsinki.)