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London Underground Fined for Runaway Train

Like an event you see in a movie, a maintenance train went out of control for 16 minutes  last August as Tube workers failed to stop it, only narrowly managing to prevent it from colliding into a passenger train.

This is the dramatic moment a Tube worker jumped to safety from an out of control 39-tonne train as it careered dangerously through central London. The maintenance worker can be seen jumping off the 66ft-long maintenance unit at Highgate tube station after its brakes failed during one of the busiest times of the day. It was being towed past Highgate station in north London but broke free from the other train, passing through seven stations as it raced along the line for 16 minutes, causing a ‘substantial risk of harm’.

At one point, a busy commuter train in front of the runaway was collecting passengers at Archway in north London and control room staff told the driver to close his doors and urgently accelerate away. The driver was told not to stop and told passengers over the tannoy to move towards the front of the train. The control panel showed the runaway gaining on the passenger train at one stage

As the train hurtles at speed along the Northern Line, the worker runs along the track beside it. Realising he has little chance of being able to stop the train, he places his hands on his head in panic. Bemused commuters can be seen waiting on a packed platform at Archway station as the train hurtles past them at speed. A court heard yesterday how the runaway train came within 600 metres of causing a ‘terrible tragedy’ as it headed towards a passenger train. London Underground and its contractors were yesterday fined £300,000 at the Old Bailey over the incident in August 2011. Is this a sufficient punishment for what could have been a tragic accident? Could this have been prevented in any way? The main point is that nobody was harmed after this incident, but it could have easily gone either way. If you have been involved in an accident, contact AJR solicitors today. AJR Solicitors are specialists in personal injury and accident claims, providing a bespoke service to each of our clients.

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