Tube passengers: 'I hope the police stay longer'

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The Independent Online

The Tube train stopped for what seemed an eternity inside the darkened tunnel and a hush fell upon the near-empty carriage.

An Asian businessman diligently studied his book without turning a page. A matronly lady glanced nervously around the Piccadilly line train. A newspaper with the headline "Terror attacks: Man to face first charge" lay unheeded on a seat. Only a few Japanese girls chattering appeared oblivious to the fact that this was the very spot between Russell Square and King's Cross where 26 innocent travellers lost their lives four weeks earlier.

As one of London Underground's oldest and deepest lines fully reopened yesterday, there was an air of trepidation amongst many of those who were among the first to venture forth. Commuters, accustomed to elbowing their way on to carriages, found they had a choice of seats as the train doors opened on to near deserted platforms where police officers outnumbered passengers.

"It feels scary. I just hope the police surveillance keeps up for a bit longer but I know there will be a time when we will be back on our own," said Arlene Christou, 44.

With a temporary service on the Circle line, Transport for London said services resumed across the entire network as part of a "symbolic" tribute to those who died.

For the Tube workers who witnessed the carnage at Russell Square, it was also a moment loaded with emotion.

When the first westbound train travelled through the station shortly after 5.30am yesterday, a small group stood on the platform to mark the moment in silence.