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Croydon - still hope for pre Christmas opening

Bob Dorey, Chairman of Tramtrack Croydon Limited (TCL), the developers of Croydon Tramlink, said today that he was still hopeful that part of the new LRT system would be open by mid-December. He said there are stray current problems to be resolved and there are still some bugs in the signalling and control system, but he described the situation as "uncertainties, but within our own control". He said that some of the comment on the Internet, particularly about the role of Railtrack in the delay, was quite unjustified.

The plan is to open the Wimbledon, East Croydon - Addington sections in mid-December and the remainder of the system by mid-January. Questioned on whether there would be a sufficient period of trial running by mid-December to satisfy the Railway Inspectorate, Bob Dorey said he was hopeful that the HMRI would not expect there to be six weeks of continuous trial running over all parts of the sections to be opened. He accepted that if the HMRI do insist on this (and they have consistently denied there is a formal requirement for as much as six weeks continuous trial running, though without saying what the minimum requirement actually is) then it would be impossible to meet the aspiration to open part of the system by mid-December even if the stray currents and signalling issues are resolved.

Bob Tarr, Secretary General

11 November 1999

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