Tramlink began operation in May 2000 as Croydon Tramlink, becoming the first tram system in London since 1959. It is owned by London Tramlink, an arm of Transport for London (TfL) and is operated by Tram Operations Ltd (TOL), a subsidiary of FirstGroup.
The network consists of 39 stops along 28 km (17 mi) of track, on a mixture of street track shared with other traffic, dedicated track in public roads, and off-street track consisting of new rights-of-way, former railway lines, and one section of alignment (not track) shared with a third rail electrified Network Rail line.
The network has four lines that coincide in central Croydon, with eastbound termini at Beckenham Junction, Elmers End and New Addington, and a westbound terminus at Wimbledon, where there is an interchange for London Underground.
Tramlink is operated with 35 vehicles. The original fleet comprised 24 articulated low floor Flexity Swift CR4000 trams built by Bombardier Transportation. In 2006, the CR4000 fleet was refurbished, with the bus-like destination blinds being replaced by an electronic dot system.
Stadler Rail has since supplied six Variobahn trams similar to those used by Bybanen in Bergen, Norway and the first entered service in 2012. In August 2013, TfL ordered additional Variotrams, for use on the Wimbledon to Croydon link.