Secrets Of The Trams
Articles, Blog

Secrets Of The Trams

September 8, 2019

Hello! Yes, the day is finally here, we’re wearing bright green and we’re starting in Beckenham Junction to finally go and do Secrets of the Trams. So we’re out on the trams, but before we can start our journey I feel like I need to bring you up to speed with a bit of history. When the trams were launched back in 2000, there were three routes with three colours Even the trams themselves were red in colour. TfL took control of the trams, though, in 2008, and gave the network its now-distinctive green livery. By this time, a fourth route was also in operation, and so the map looked like this. And our first stop is… we’re at Beckenham Road, as the tram that we’ve just been on leaves there. Something to notice: there’s a single track over here. That line there is the National Rail system. Now, interestingly, the trams are actually timetabled to pass it at the same point, but, obviously, you can’t have two trams at the single platform at the same time. So, in practice that rarely works, but it is interesting to note that, in terms of scheduling, they should be here at the same time. There’s a junction just up there, where the trams wait for each other to pass. Now, Roding Valley is the least-used station on the Tube, and I very much suspect that our next station has got low passenger numbers, too. Welcome to Birkbeck, which features, always, in the top 10 list of least used National Rail stations –that’s right–because half of it is on the tram, and half of it is on the National Rail. And, therefore, it’s weird that once every half an hour a big, 8-car Southern train comes through to this somewhat dead station. It’s a weird, quiet, strange place, and I bet you’ve never been to Birkbeck. Now, when the tram network was built, a lot of it was made easier by the fact that it used the alignments of old, existing, and, in some cases, disused railways, and the first clue we see of this is at our next stop. We’re at Woodside, which might possibly be my most favourite stop on the whole tram network, because there’s a whole bunch of history here. Woodside railway station is just there; an old National Rail–British Rail, as it was– railway station, which they then converted into a tram stop. So, if you look behind me, you can see here there’s this building that spans the railway, and that is the old, original station building. But come down the side, and there’s even more history to see. And here, down by the side of the station, you can see is this ramp. That’s because when the station opened in 1871 there was a racecourse just down the road nearby, and this ramp was installed to allow them to load and unload horses to go to the racecourse! And, it’s still here today. The next place down the line is almost a tram stop that shares its name with a London Underground station. We’re at Blackhorse Lane tram stop. Don’t get that confused with Blackhorse Road on the Victoria and the Overground. And we are here to see Addiscombe railway park. You’ll see that the tram stop is over here, but down here… Ooo, look at that. Can you see? That is clearly the old alignment of an old railway with the road bridge going across. “What’s that? A lost railway, Geoff? Surely, you need a ‘Lost Railways in London’ video about that?” And we have, we’ve done one, so click in the corner right now to find out more about Addiscombe, and the line down to Selsdon. We took a pleasant ten minute walk along the old railway line, noting that there is nothing left at all to see of the old Addiscombe station, and then we got to Lebanon Road. So, we’ve now hit the part of the tram network where the tram tracks actually in the road. The cars, and buses, and trams all share it. It gets a little bit congested, and that’s why here, at Lebanon Road, they’ve staggered the stops so the eastbound one is over there, and we’re here on the westbound one. It’s the only place, as far as we know, on the tram network where it happens. It’s also just one of three stations where, bizarrely–how antiquated is this?– there’s still a payphone.
[phone rings] Oh. [phone rings] Hello? Oh, it’s me. Hi, Geoff. Where are you? Getting back on the tram, and look at the moquette seating pattern it’s made by Wallace-Sewell the same people that design the moquette for the We had a quick look at the history plaque at Sandilands and then went to find another old railway that the trams re-use at Croydon The line between West Croydon and Wimbledon used to be a single track british railline which also closed in 1997 to have a tram network to take his place. An oddity of that is that West Croydon’s three platforms on London 1 , 3 and 4 So where is Platform 2? Well, it used to be a bay platform, where the single line used to terminate and it’s mostly been filled in now, to be part of Platform 3 but if you look closely, there’s a still a short stub left of it here that you can see at the western end of the station The trams cut right through Croydon high street at this point the most obvious example of the trams being classified as what’s known as an ‘open’ system And round the corner, a place designed specifically for something that a lot of people We’ve got Centrale tram stop here which I really like Now, when the tram system opened in 2000 Why? because Croydon opened up a brand new shopping centre Leaving Croydon, and you get to Wandle Park And it’s at this point that the trams are also running in the same place as the old Surrey Iron Railway Which went between here and Wandsworth Now trams, are really just like buses on rails But out of the town, they can really move fast Up to 60 kilometres per hour And a bit like the DLR where you can pretend that you’re driving You can sort of see out of the front too and pretend that you’re in control And next up, yet another point where we encounter an old abandoned railway We’re at Merton Park station, the tram there of course heading back up to Croydon The Merton, Tooting and Wimbledon railway That closed in the 1920’s to passengers, but survived for freight until the 1970’s * THIS TRAM, IS FOR WIMBLEDON * And so onto our final stop … Wimbledon And platform 10 has been split into 10a, and 10b If you’ve never been on the trams before, I say “Why not? What’s wrong with you!” Me? I don’t even live near a tram stop, and yet I’m going back in for one last ride on a tram, and somehow .. get home, see ya!


  • Reply Planes Trains August 27, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Brilliant, as are all your "secrets of" videos. Especially enjoy where you pick out bits of previously used stations and closed lines. I enjoy railway archaeology in my spare time and really must pop up to London and have a good snoop around.

  • Reply AlfieTheG4m3r - Roblox & More! September 8, 2018 at 9:30 am

    6:12 Thanks For Visiting My Area Geoff. 🙂

  • Reply TTGAPlays September 8, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    The trams look similar to Toronto’s Streetcars

  • Reply Slender_04 September 9, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Never taken a tram, just walk across the tracks (as they cross the road) in front of the Wimbledon tram station a lot while going to the Wimbledon tube station.

  • Reply myoldreteacher September 12, 2018 at 2:14 am

    5:38 – I did because I used to see the trains go by the playing fields just near there when I was at school.

  • Reply Fishy Creeper September 12, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    There is a Woodside in Liverpool which is a heritage tram stop and ferry terminal

  • Reply Tor2sn0rt RBLX September 12, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    1:00 its tram not tube

  • Reply K L September 13, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Great vid Geoff but consider taking advantage of some hair product sponsorship. (think on lad)

  • Reply Martin King September 13, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Surprised that you didn't mention the fact that the tram numbers run on from the last Croydon tram on the old network that closed in 1952 you also didn't cover anything about the Depot.

  • Reply ferrets and me September 15, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I get the tram evrey morning so yes I have been to birkbeck and yes it has a creepy grave yard

  • Reply Emma Patabendige September 16, 2018 at 9:46 am

    I can challenge your bet I live around the corner from birkbeck and use it every day

  • Reply Emma Patabendige September 16, 2018 at 9:50 am

    They we're really fast but now they r so slow due to the tram crash

  • Reply Thomas FclC September 16, 2018 at 11:37 am

    I'm one of the few people that uses Birkbeck
    I use it twice a week

  • Reply Bailey Campbell September 19, 2018 at 8:31 am

    I'm from Melbourne, a city that is famous for trams and can I just say if you are just going to use trams on train lines THAN USE TRAINS. The point of trams is to be on the road
    Edit: apart from that one station that's on the road but still what about every other

  • Reply Ken Kemzura September 19, 2018 at 10:44 am

    Greetings from across the pond on the far coast! Good show and thank you for sharing. Enjoyed my brief visit to England in 2016. Rode the North Moors and Yorkshire. Hope to visit again in the foreseeable future!

  • Reply Hayden Misenti September 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    the Hillsboro, Beaverton, Portland, Gresham tram line in Portland Oregon is huge

  • Reply Neville September 19, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    I like trams that are modern but not that modern so they look like every other

  • Reply GrrMeister September 20, 2018 at 12:03 am

    We had 'Trams' in Leicester in 1874 so why has it taken our Capital 144 years to catch on ?

  • Reply Layers of political jokes September 20, 2018 at 6:06 am

    3:54 to 4:01 ok i might be going crazy here but… if you listen REAL closely you might hear a sound that resembles the tardis from doctor who (does ANYBODY else hear that? or am i crazy?)

  • Reply Miss Hedley September 27, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    So a tram is just the ofspring of a train and bus?
    And why do you need a tram of you have trains and busses? What is the point of it? And how I it different from a train or bus?

  • Reply Laurence Hamilton September 28, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    4:26 I can see my ex's workplace. Burn it.

  • Reply Harshan U.S. 1995 October 2, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Is this the new model of tram? Or the new tram?

  • Reply London Underground 978 October 2, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks Geoff! I will remember that.

  • Reply Moxtrox October 3, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Seems to me, TfL just reshuffles the tracks every couple of years and calls it a new line.

  • Reply hamesjeff October 3, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Trams are trains

  • Reply freddy green October 5, 2018 at 4:25 am

    i live in croydon!

  • Reply Gorbaz The Dragon October 5, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I find it rather amusing that the fact that the tram and bus network are integrated at a station is considered an "unusual fact"…

    Over in the Netherlands it would seem almost unthinkable that a major tram or train station wouldn't have a bus station on the same grounds…

  • Reply Aero Buddy October 12, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Why oh why are there not more of these networks around outer london!!

  • Reply Nanonic001 October 15, 2018 at 8:25 pm


  • Reply lyiriyah October 16, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Did you know the old bridge at Merton Park is actually at Corfe Castle station.

  • Reply Mat S October 19, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Ive been to London at least 8-10 times.. no idea there were trams there..

  • Reply Jack Mison October 20, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    It would be interesting to see Elmers End tram stop

  • Reply Alexis N. October 22, 2018 at 9:40 am

    This makes me miss SE London to tears 😢

  • Reply MikröNërd October 25, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Woodside also almost shares its name with an underground stop: Woodside Park

    Which is actually my local station

  • Reply William Fall November 1, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    The first letter of the captions spell TRAMLINK

  • Reply The Lucky Traveler November 15, 2018 at 2:53 am

    If you slow the speed down at 1:14 into the video you can see the converted D stock trains.

  • Reply Thomas Milburn November 23, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Using old track to make a new railway is not that impressive considering the Tyne and Wear Metro has done it since 1980 and the track is still shared between heavy freight trains and the metros 38 years later.

  • Reply milo tv November 23, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    what about secrets of the TFL rail

  • Reply austrianbugfinder November 24, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    I love how I watched that video 3 years ago and not realised that the first letters of the captions spell "tram link"

  • Reply Danny Young November 25, 2018 at 12:57 am

    It makes me laugh that the only time I've ever been to Birkbeck was completely by accident when I got on the wrong train from Crystal Palace.

  • Reply High Path November 30, 2018 at 12:41 am

    There is a Photo of effectively Platform 11 (where 10b now appears to be at wimbledon in use in the 1910s for some kind of event.

  • Reply Evan Rhymney December 2, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Trams are like trains

  • Reply Tubby Scrubb December 4, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    I wish LONDON had trams that people knew about

  • Reply FaZe Đ-Man December 4, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I used to live right near birkbeck and got the tram all the time! Probably the tram station I have been at the most.

  • Reply Jonathan Pang December 18, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    there might be a tram extension in a few years

  • Reply Nicky Haugh December 20, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    The London Trams is one of TFL's greatest transportations of all-time!!!

  • Reply Vanoli Gaming December 23, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I live near Birkbeck

  • Reply jack hewitt December 24, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    I use the trams to get to and from work in fact in on one right now if your from or live in Croydon ridding on a tram should be a right of passage

  • Reply Jail Break December 31, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I’ve been to birkbeck

  • Reply Frank III January 7, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Geoff is a genius with the captions. Tramlink!

  • Reply Rachel smith January 9, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Can u use a days travel ticket on the trams? What zone are they in?

  • Reply Nelly Airborne January 26, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Fun fact: Some of the carriages are the same as used in Cologne, Germany. So confusing to see them in different colours!

  • Reply Emil Ramos February 2, 2019 at 3:42 am

    And it’s fun fun fun on the croydon Tram tram tram…

  • Reply Living Lifeform February 11, 2019 at 3:54 am

    Why you talking about an overground station!

  • Reply Than Soe Ler Wah February 14, 2019 at 5:58 am

    Go in Australia to see a tram

  • Reply Emma Paignton February 17, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    DLR or Trams I'd never use

  • Reply Alex White February 17, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    its so easy for me to use the trams, as i live so close to them.

  • Reply Gerard O'Mahony February 24, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    What is the point of trams? If they're just buses on tracks? Is it more efficient, do they avoid traffic, is it because they go faster out of town etc? Help

  • Reply Hypochrisy 117 February 25, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    So what happened to the Lost Railways of London video?

  • Reply Pencil BFB February 27, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    This video is bad, because in my recommended, the video ABOVE this says "By holy decree of this video the video BELOW is bad".

  • Reply Mr Kipling February 27, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Watched every one of this series. Absolutely brilliant!!

  • Reply Emma Paignton March 9, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Not been in the area plus I work nights and there not 24hrs

  • Reply Mikel Sopelana Durango March 11, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    A single tram service in the whole country and they had to have a crash.

  • Reply Leo Starrenburg March 15, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    Ar Harrington Road you enter the cemetery by crossing the tramlines.

  • Reply Duke Nukem March 22, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    No mention that Mitcham is the oldest operating station in the World, having opened in 1802-3 for freight. It was originally on the horse-drawn Surrey Iron Railway, and later was on the Croydon-Wimbledon national rail line, There was double track in national rail days from Mitcham junction to 1/2 mile west of Mitcham, but cut back to Mitcham after a retaining wall subsidence. Tramlink's double track is now interlaced at that point.

  • Reply Oscar Moore March 23, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Trams are great, I don’t know what it would be like without them – it’s a shame there aren’t any where I live.

  • Reply lorraine walker March 30, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    the T32 is squeezed into the 130 which some people call T130

  • Reply George Adams April 15, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    I have used Birckbeck tram, it's just easier to get off a Beckenham Road as there isn't a massive hill to get to Penge.

  • Reply Andrew Gwilt April 16, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Despite I am very late to comment. I have been on the Croydon Tramlink many times and I love riding on it. If only there was more trams in London. Probably in the future.

  • Reply Luca vlogs and gaming April 22, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    What happened to London's lost railways

  • Reply Kenaz Grant April 24, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    This guy is moist but I like him

  • Reply Super Mario April 25, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Other 🇲🇹🇧🇦🇨🇾🇦🇺

  • Reply Хунг Нгуен April 29, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    🚋🛤💺Great tram!🚋🛤💺

  • Reply Fer Siqueira May 5, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Like if you live in London and didn’t know there’s a tram line

  • Reply noob May 6, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    I love the tram

  • Reply noob May 6, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    I went to Phipps bridge on the tram

  • Reply Wade Brice May 11, 2019 at 10:01 am

    There's a plaque on the tramstop side of the road bridge over the line at Mitcham tramstop. It reads "Surrey Iron Railway Company 1801". Near the next tramstop at Belgrave Walk, the Surrey Iron Railway headed north across Mitcham, along Church Road, towards Wandsworth.

  • Reply MZK ty May 16, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    trams in poland in a fast tram can run up to 70 kmh

  • Reply Ross Taylor May 20, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    I bet I've been to Birkbeck – I used to work opposite the station!

  • Reply Kian Ibrahim May 21, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    East Croydon to and west croydon

  • Reply Tiff June 11, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Did he just miss out the fact that the line ends at new addington, or??? I know it may not b the best place to film but at least acknowledge it

  • Reply Chris Mason June 12, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Where is the video you mentioned about ths old selsdon line?

  • Reply Jopu 700 June 16, 2019 at 9:54 am

    And it's fun fun fun on the croydon tram tram tram

  • Reply LEE T GAMING June 20, 2019 at 6:27 am

    My old primary school was called Woodside.

  • Reply Brandon Martin-Moore June 25, 2019 at 10:54 am

    There are no subtitles for a big chunk of the video.

  • Reply johntruttero June 26, 2019 at 4:20 am

    When I was a child I used to travel on the trains to West Croydon before they were converted into tramlines.

  • Reply ENGLISH JONA June 28, 2019 at 8:51 am

    I bet you I use Birkbeck regularly 😤

  • Reply Michael Clarke July 11, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    What about Birmingham's trams ?

  • Reply Nick Gallon July 18, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Since you have done secrets of the London Underground and Glasgow Underground, can you please do a 'Secrets Of The Manchester Metrolink'?

  • Reply Epic gamer 2000 Memes July 19, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Platform 2 might be on trams

  • Reply I'm Interested In Apathy July 21, 2019 at 8:42 am

    The Melbourne trams are simply the best in the world. No doubt about it.

  • Reply Finlay O'Reilly July 28, 2019 at 7:37 am

    Am I the only 10 year old who whatchis geoff

  • Reply CFL July 29, 2019 at 11:27 am

    I have been to all the 39 tram stations and lived near one for 8 years…..

  • Reply Train Spotter July 29, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    1:24 do you mean get off at Birkbeck or also come through Birkbeck

  • Reply Hijackdahplaneplayz August 3, 2019 at 9:19 am

    I would go on the tram… but I dont live in London, I dont even live in England

  • Reply Millwall Fan2008 August 6, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    My Nan used to live on elmers road in addiscombe which Blackhorse lane station is behind her house

  • Reply SuperDuper PowerMoon August 18, 2019 at 3:34 am

    3:13 Sounded realistic…

    You should make videos for non-Tube subway stations, such as the New York City or the Chicago L!

  • Reply I'm Interested In Apathy August 28, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Melbourne's tram system is the best in the world. No doubt about it.

  • Reply Octavian Who September 2, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    He's hot…

  • Reply Cris-P-Bacon Yeet September 3, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Geoff:The tram is really fast and can run at 60 km per hour
    Japan’s bullet train: ahhh that’s cute

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