First Impressions of the System
What people thought!
"They are elegant, smooth, efficient and at the cutting edge of technology. In addition they have immediately put Croydon at the forefront of changes to the entire London Transport System. Croydon Tramlink represents everything that 21st century transport should be about, and will improve transport in and around the area and improve mobility for everyone."
Advertiser Viewpoint, Croydon Advertiser, May 12th 2000
"I can report that the system really is impressive - the climb up Gravel Hill at 70km/h and 80km/h down the other side really is like a Roller Coaster but so smooth! It has taken some getting used to - being in a rail vehicle but with cars, etc. coming towards you and having to pull up behind a bus and car coming back into central Croydon."
"I think it is great that the trams are up and running properly now, and find them very comfortable and excellent way to travel in and around Croydon. After joining Stephen and others for the first fare-paying run at 04.29, I tried out a few other things in Croydon and found the trams very useful to get around. I have also found the staff to be friendly and helpful."
"The packed cars scotched fears about gradability on the long 9% stretches in Shirley Hills - the cars romped up and raced down. At one point the change of grade form almost level to very steep takes place within but a few metres and will surely give the operators of Blackpool Pleasure Beach competition for its biggest roller-coaster in Europe! The negative G and accompanying screeches from female passengers was spectacular!"
"I had a ride on the tram yesterday from Croydon to New Addington and back, and was very impressed, especially with the strong acceleration and braking, and smoothness. They are great, I was not disappointed at all. I am looking forward to the Elmers End branch opening."
"I was able to get down to Croydon yesterday to ride on Tramlink. First impressions were very favourable, Tramlink is certainly equal to the Manchester and Sheffield systems and the trams themselves are much better than those on the West Midlands system."
"The trip was excellent, I am looking forward to making a journey during daylight."
"As a resident of the 'transit mall' bit of Addiscombe Road - I can say that it is wonderful to live on such a clean quiet road so near to the busy heart of Croydon, it is also being used as an additional selling point for houses in the area! As I sit in my house all I can hear is birdsong, the descending motor noise of the cars stopping at Lebanon Road tramstop and the throbbing groan of the buses....."
"The trams are very smooth and comfortable. Impressively quiet and even quite relaxing when standing up for the whole ride. It was most amusing to notice the jaws of many car drivers dropping as the tram packed to gunwales zoomed past them stuck at lights! How many will switch after a few days of this? Finally - I just couldn't get used to hearing a proper tram bell in London. I kept thinking I was in Amsterdam."
"Tramlink must be a god send to the disabled. Last Friday I met a man in his eighties at West Croydon who was really unsure on his feet. He was walking aided by one of those walkers with the three wheels. He told me it is the first time he has been able to get to Croydon on his own for years. Earlier I was at Gravel Hill where a gentleman who said he remembered the old trams boarded a tram for Croydon on a electric powered quad. The range of his limited battery power has been extended beyond his wildest dreams. I forecast that soon we all will be seeing lots of quads in the centre of Croydon"
"I think we will soon have a very fine system here in Croydon which will stand comparison with others of a similar size anywhere. Certainly Route 3 already takes the Gold Medal as England's most scenic tram route, with the lovely ride up from Lloyd Park through the woods, and the rhododendrons at Heathfield in full bloom, followed by the curving line through the fields down to Gravel Hill. Working of the line seems to be exemplary. I especially noticed how helpful and polite the staff always seem to be, establishing good customer relations right from the start. One sees quite a few people on the trams who would not normally be seen on buses - smart-suited business men with brief cases joining at Gravel Hill, Coombe Lane and Lloyd Park."
"I have been telling my 4 year old son that we could go on the tram 'next month' since October last year. We made our first trip on Thursday and was it worth the wait? Ben's ecstasy was only surpassed by mine and my wife's. It was wonderful. So exhilarating. The near silent acceleration took my breath away. We are doing an all day trip tomorrow. The most remarkable thing that I have noticed about the tram is that it makes people visibly more happy. Look at any bus, tube or train and everybody looks glum. Look at a tram passenger and they are invariably smiling."
"Overall, Croydon looks like the best tram system in the country, and Manchester sets a high standard to beat."
"My girlfriend and I were able to join the crowds on the opening day of Line 3. We are both very impressed by the quality of the ride and the service and also by the friendliness of the staff. My girlfriend was particularly interested to find that there were ten lady drivers on the system, one of whom we had a chat with."
"Well, after weeks of planning and deliberation we finally made the journey down to Croydon to sample the delights of the Tramlink system. We alighted at East Croydon station and hopped on a tram bound for the Town Centre loop in search of a Tesco or Sainsbury's. None to be found, unfortunately, but we were nigh on impressed with the tram journey. Top marks for interior design. Nice large windows letting in lots of natural light, and provision for buggies; getting our double length two-seater on was no problem whatsoever! It was a strange experience being on a vehicle that is very much like a train (riding the Tramlink is remarkably similar to the Docklands Light Railway), but pulling alongside buses and gliding past cars!
"But the best was yet to come. Having gotten off at Church Street in our fruitless quest for a supermarket, we got on again for a tram bound for New Addington. And so round the loop we went, my wife being somewhat confused when we pulled once more into East Croydon. I explained that we had gone round a loop!! And so onto Lebanon Road. Can you believe I was actually rather scared at the speed the tram was doing, until I realised that if I were driving I'd probably be doing much the same speed! But it was when we left Sandilands that I REALLY saw what these trams could do, and boy, was I ever impressed as we thundered through the tunnel towards Lloyd Park! I remember reading someones comments about the section through Gravel Hill being like a roller coaster ride; they weren't far wrong!
" And so, we finally arrived at our destination; Addington Village. And the reason for our coming here from Woodford Green? A mighty fine restaurant called Planet Spice. Very good food, and worth traveling from one end of London to the other for. And so, as we journeyed back home that evening, just one question was on our minds; when will East London get its trams? I don't think that there could be anyone who has used the Tramlink service and not realised that this is surely the way forward for London? I hear that there are plans for such a system in Peckham, but should we not be planning systems like this all over the capital?"
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