Runaway train causes chaos on London Underground
Monday, August 16, 2010
A London engineering train ran away and travelled four miles on the Underground's early on Friday morning, resulting in part of the Northern Line, which carries 500,000 passengers daily, being closed for much of the day. The runaway train apparently had an engineering defect.
The London Underground, also known as the Tube, reported that the engineering train had been working on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line when it broke down at 5.25 a.m. BST (0425 UTC). It was attached to an out-of-service passenger train to be dragged northwards when, for reasons which are being investigated by the, it broke free near at 6.44 a.m. and started rolling southwards. The train ran through six stations before it was finally brought to a halt by a slight incline in the track at at 6.57 a.m.
Passenger Tom Redfern, on the preceding train at Archway, described what happened to the BBC: "As soon as we pulled away the driver came on the tannoy and said, 'There is an emergency, will everyone move towards the front of the train'. There was a ripple of panic. I went from half asleep to a big adrenaline rush. I thought, 'Is this it?'"
The passenger train was rerouted onto the City Branch of the Northern Line, and bypassed all stations until Moorgate in an attempt to keep ahead of the runaway, while the runaway was routed down the Charing Cross Branch.
Mr Redfern said: "We went full speed. We knew the situation was dangerous because we were going fast. Even by the driver's voice, we could tell it was serious."
London Underground director Richard Parry said that at no time was the runaway closer than 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) to a passenger train. Service was suspended betweenand Archway, and between and via Charing Cross, while investigations into the cause of the runaway took place.
- Steve Rothwell and Francesca Angelini. "Runaway London Tube Train Careers for Four Miles Without Driver" — , 13 August 2010
- "Runaway train on London Tube's Northern Line" — , 13 August 2010
- Adam Gabbatt. "Runaway tube train prompts London Underground inquiry" — , 13 August 2010