All of London’s trams are getting replaced

In case you’ve forgotten, London has a tram system. Operating south of the river, it runs from Wimbledon to Beckenham via Croydon. But the trains are a little shabby these days, often running into problems or breaking down. But good news, because all of London’s are soon to be replaced. Hooray!

London’s trams are coming to the end of their 25-year life cycle, and it’s time for them to retire. The TfL Commissioner Andy Lord said TfL will start to acquire new locomotives as soon as possible.

‘Our intention this year is that we will start procurement for the new tram fleet. The vast majority of our trams are coming up to 25 years old. We hope to start the procurement process for that imminently,’ he said. 

In June, the TfL board was told in a report: ‘The majority of our trams fleet is reaching the end of its initial design life and, as a result, is experiencing declining reliability, with one of the lowest states of good repair categorisations across our fleets.’

Don’t celebrate too soon, though. As with a lot of TfL projects, more Government funding is needed to get this project completely over the line. Fingers crossed it comes through before the current fleet totally falls apart. 

The report added: ‘We will continue to make the case to central Government for further capital investment for large-scale projects which are unaffordable from our operating revenue alone.’

This week, TfL was awarded £250 million by the Government in funding, but this was only half of what was asked for. Andy Lord said the transport authority was doing all that it could to ‘minimise the impact’ of the £250 million shortfall of cash. Inevitably, this means some projects will be most likely dropped, but Lord didn’t reveal which ones. He admitted that ‘difficult decisions’ would have to be made, and bosses would ‘make that clear as soon as we can’.

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