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VolkerRail completes latest upgrades to Croydon’s tram network

VolkerRail has successfully delivered the latest phase of vital upgrades to the London Trams network in Croydon.

VolkerRail completes latest upgrades to Croydon’s tram network

Over the past 12 months, the team – under three possessions – has replaced around 600m of embedded single track, in and around Reeves Corner, along with a road crossing at Lower Addiscombe. The work is part of London Tram’s asset replacement plan, which aims to improve the condition of the track, to help make tram services more reliable.

VolkerRail has been looking after London Trams annual track maintenance programme since 2012. The work at Reeves Corner is the latest package of works, which aims to provide a reliable, smoother service to tram customers, and reduce the need for large scale maintenance of the track for years to come.

The renewal of the existing road crossing at Lower Addiscombe road took place in April this year, and saw the existing flat bottom rail replaced with grooved rail, along with new concrete shoulders adjacent to the rail, and new drainage. Composite sleepers were also installed, in the transition areas adjacent to the crossing, which enhanced the network’s environmental impact and reduced the work’s carbon footprint.

The latest possession, undertaken over 16 days, saw the replacement of 150m of life-expired embedded rail. A switch and crossing unit at Tamworth Road was also removed and replaced. Extensive civils work was also undertaken, which included installing a new track slab to support the new switch mechanism, new drainage, concrete shoulders, and the reinstatement of road surfacing and lining, over an extended area on Tamworth Road. Testing and commissioning of all related assets, necessary to operate and maintain the infrastructure was also completed.

Throughout each possession, concrete shoulders were installed, to alleviate extensive road construction on any future works, allowing any rail replacement work to be cut and removed in sections, mitigating the need to break the road’s surface.

As a result of the segregated sections and highway sections running through the area and the work completed in and around Reeves Corner was some of the most complex undertaken by VolkerRail, since works began in 2012.

Commenting on the project, Stephen Morton, VolkerRail construction manager – track, said:
“Although complex, this latest phase of work has been a great success. Throughout our long-standing relationship with London Trams, we have worked hard to ensure minimal impact to the communities in which we work, and to the people who use the tram network, and we thank you for your continued support and patience.”

Since 2012, VolkerRail has replaced more than 5,600m of track, across 30 areas of the network, including Addiscombe Road, Tamworth Road, Morden Road, George Street and Gravel Hill.

The next phase of upgrade works, to replace an interlaced turnout, is expected to take place February 2022, at Church Street.

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