Sunday 1 September 2013

I suppose everyone has now heard about the smoking train at HOP on Sunday, from everything I’ve heard it sounds like it suffered the equivalent of driving a car with the handbrake on but as you can imagine 150 tons of BREL 92ts is going to cause a lot more smoke and dust than a Volkswagen Golf.

Apparently the train had partly left the platform so opening the doors was not an option until the TOp had herded the passengers from the cars already in the tunnel.  In this situation the station staff are meant to operate the “butterflies” which open one set of double doors on each car but as there were no staff on the platform at the time and HOP has lifts rather than escalators they had to come to down the spiral staircase and the Central Line is about 200ft below ground.


I did hear that there were only three station staff which I find a bit surprising, it was around 7pm on Sunday evening, HOP is one down the line from NHG and it gets very busy on Carnival weekend so I’d have thought they’d have put some extras on.  LUL always ask for volunteers to work that weekend but I have been told that a lot of staff will do it once and then don’t want to do it again.  A CSA told me that this year at QUE they got a lot of abuse because neither of the lifts were working and the Super got assaulted on Sunday because the last train had gone.  I only ever worked on Carnival weekend once when I was on stations and while it was busy it was quite a jolly time so I guess I was lucky.

1 comment:

  1. I for one was angered, and a little saddened, by the way this was covered and the responses to it. Surely, the whole point of this incident was that nothing happened. It looks scary, but ultimately it was some smoke and dust from the brakes that precipitated a panic which was soon resolved by the appropriate action. The only criticism that can be made is that there was no member of staff able to respond instantly; but nobody reading this blog needs me to tell them that staff cutbacks at LUL are a bad thing...A couple of 2 cents I would throw in is that I wondered, when I saw people hitting the emergency buttons and fire alarms on the platform, what they imagined would happen? It seems odd, but it struck me that it might almost be an idea to publish a bit of guff so that your average tube user has a better idea of what to do in an emergency. You probably don't need a pre-flight safety briefing, but maybe let people know what those buttons do. Probably the most useful button in this situation, the one that lets you contact the station control room in an emergency, doesn't seem to have been used by anybody. I wonder if any handles were pulled in that train. Anyway, enough rambling; I hardly need say it, but I think you T/Ops (and the station staff to) do a great job and I do feel sorry for you guys when I see reactions such as these