Firm faces inquiry after Tube derailment

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The privatised maintenance of the London Underground was once more under scrutiny last night after the derailment of the fourth train in 16 months.

The privatised maintenance of the London Underground was once more under scrutiny last night after the derailment of the fourth train in 16 months.

Investigators were focusing on work by the Metronet consortium, responsible for maintaining the track on two thirds of the Tube, after a Central line train derailed at White City station, west London, while travelling at 15mph.

British Transport Police said none of the 150 passengers on the westbound service was hurt when the penultimate carriage on the eight-car train came off the tracks at 12.26pm yesterday. Nearly a dozen emergency services vehicles went to the station as passengers were led to safety through the train.

Work to pinpoint the cause of the accident was focusing on a set of points at the entrance to the station where maintenance work had been done. Metronet confirmed that its staff had been working at the station in recent days in an effort to lift a 20mph speed restriction which has been in place since April.

A spokesman for the company, which is responsible for the Central line, said: "We don't know if our recent work and the derailment are connected. We are looking into the work we have been doing."

London Underground said there were no early indications that the accident had any similarities to a more serious crash in January last year when a Central line train derailed at Chancery Lane, injuring 32 people, two seriously.

The failure of bolts holding a motor to the train was found to have caused the crash, leading to the closure of the entire line - London's main east-west rail route - for many weeks while 80 trains were modified.

London Underground said yesterday's incident was not linked to the train itself. Union leaders said the latest accident was part of a wider problem with repair work on the Central line by the privatised contractor.

* The Central Line was agin running as normal today. London Underground said all services had been restored.

Comments