RMT demands investigation after early reports suggest faulty brakes caused yesterday’s Central Line shutdown


Worn brake picture taken from Central Line train

The RMT has demanded an immediate investigation into the impact of cuts to fleet maintenance schedules after it emerged the likely cause of yesterday’s Tube shutdown was a defective brake.

Although the union is awaiting the outcome of the investigation into the incident that caused chaos during yesterday’s Olympic rush hour, it is reported that the driver of the Central Line train saw smoke billowing from the tunnel at Leyton and noticed a strong smell of burning.

The delay in clearing the blockage would be consistent with the brakes failing and welding together – a potential impact from maintenance cuts that RMT has been warning of for over two years.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “All of the reports received so far are consistent with a brake failure leading to a fire hazard and the welding tight of over-heated parts. It is down to LUL to now confirm the cause of this major breakdown and disruption and RMT safety reps will be playing a full role.

“RMT has warned for over two years about the impact of fleet maintenance cuts and specifically brake inspections and the doubling of schedules from 14 to 28 days. We have even released pictures of worn parts from the trains and LUL and the Mayor have not only ignored us but dismissed it as “scaremongering.”

“Our reps are closely monitoring the situation and staff and passenger safety remains RMT’s key priority.”

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