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London Underground prosecuted over runaway engineering train on Tube’s Northern line

Thursday, May 17, 2012
8:03 AM

The rail regulator is prosecuting London Underground and maintenance firm Tube Lines over a runaway engineering train on the Northern line of the network.

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The incident happened at the start of the morning rush hour in August 2010.

It was reported the engineering train got loose as it was towed near Archway station, then ran for nearly four miles and ploughed through six stops before stopping at Warren Street in central London.

London Underground said it was disappointed with the decision of the Office of Rail Regulation to prosecute.

Mike Strzelecki, LU’s director of safety, said: “This was clearly a serious incident and London Underground and Tube Lines acted quickly to investigate its causes and take action to ensure that the risk of such a rare incident recurring was minimised.

“Following the incident LU immediately put in place procedures to remove the engineering train and tow-bar from use on the railway.

“Since then LU and Tube Lines have put in place even tighter approvals and controls for the design and use of all such equipment.”

Bob Crow, leader of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said: “This was an horrific incident that came perilously close to a grinder colliding with a passenger train and RMT warned at the time that it was a serious mistake on the part of London Underground to downplay the potential consequences.”

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