RMT calls for review of safety procedures after 12-year-old is stranded on abandoned train


The RMT has called for a review of safety procedures after a 12-year-old boy was stranded on an abandoned Tube train and started walking home along the track.

The union has also praised the train driver whose quick actions avoided a potentially tragic situation.

The incident took place on Monday at 3.30 pm when the boy failed to get off the train at the end of the line and ended up in the sidings.

When he realised the train had effectively parked up, he shimmied up and out of the train squeezing past a barrier installed to stop people getting off trains in these situations and got onto the track . . . just inches away from a 430 volt live rail.

It was only the alert actions of the driver that spotted him. He told the driver “he was going to walk home” on the “charcoals”, ie the ballast. The driver got him back on the train.

Previously these trains used to be physically checked that they were empty prior to going into the sidings. RMT objected to the ending of detraining and said at the time that getting rid of detrainment staff was unsafe.

This recent incident comes after RMT warned LU only a month ago that not detraining trains was dangerous and unsafe and after two recent incidents of children on tube tracks that have reinforced the safety critical role of tube drivers.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “With Boris Johnson mouthing sound bites about driverless trains and de-staffing the tube at the Tory conference, yet again only the quick intervention of a driver in the North Sheds on the Bakerloo Line prevented a 12 year old boy, who had managed to shimmy up and over the ‘inner car barriers’ and out of the train, from getting hit by a moving a train or electrocuted on the rails.

“Management have rightly called an investigation into this shocking incident but this does not go far enough for RMT safety reps. We want a meeting to review the whole detrainment process and a return to a safe way of working.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
Author avatar