Pupils from the Fairchildes Academy, New Addington took their own private tour of London’s Tramlink depot on Wednesday 15 July after winning the Croydon Heritage Festival art competition.

The pupils from Class 4G had taken part in the competition where primary school classes in and around Croydon were invited to illustrate what they thought the future Croydon would look like. 

The exclusive tour guided the pupils around the depot workshop introducing them to the different tram parts such as the wheel chassis, otherwise known ‘a bogie’ (much to their amusement), and into the control room, the nerve centre of the entire tram network.

The children were then given a safety briefing learning that 750 volts run through the overhead cables and trams can reach a maximum speed of 50mph.

Not only did the Fairchilde pupils get to go behind the scenes, they will also have their work displayed inside the trams across the network bringing their work to a wider audience in September. 

Head of Customer Services, London Trams, Nick Baker, said: “We were delighted to support the Whitgift Foundation’s Croydon Heritage Festival and its work to support the regeneration that is taking place and to involve some of the younger members of the local community. The tram network is an essential part of Croydon carrying 33 million people a year and this number is set to rise and so it was a real pleasure showing the pupils from Fairchildes Academy around our depot today (earlier this week).  I hope they got an insight into how the tram network operates and how hard our staff work behind the scenes.”

Martin Corney, Chief Executive, The Whitgift Foundation, said: “We are delighted to partner with London Tramlink for this year’s Croydon Heritage Festival primary school’s artwork competition. The standard of entries was incredibly high and congratulations go to winners Fairchildes Academy, Class 4G, and runners up, Beaumont Primary School, Class 4. With flying trams, reshaped skyscrapers, dedicated hospitals for animals and children and even a ‘paint university’, the competition has enabled the imaginations of Croydon’s future generation to run wild at a time of exciting redevelopment for the Borough.”

The Tram network opened on 10th May 2000, carrying 15 million in its first year. Today that figure has doubled with over 33 million passengers and this is expected to rise to around 60 million by 2030 due, in no small part, to the major regeneration taking place in Croydon, one of the largest projects of its kind taking place in the Capital. 

Did you know?
•    London Tramlink has 28km of track and 39 stops.
•    There are 30 trams in the fleet with 4 more on order.
•    It serves seven National Rail stations and more than 50 bus routes.