RMT General Secretary to raise concerns over removal of tunnel telephone wires with Tube bosses

We note the resolution from our Central Line East Branch and the sentiments within.

We instruct the General Secretary to raise these concerns with the company and place this matter back before the NEC upon any further developments. Train Operators have been trained in the essential safety net that tunnel telephone wires provide as a last resort in switching off traction current in an emergency and making contact with the line controller when no other method is available.

If London Underground bosses do wish to make laying SCD’s on live track a part of the procedure for discharging traction current in an emergency this should be tested regularly by a senior London Underground manager, for example the general manager of each line.

We believe it is essential that if this important safety equipment is removed the following should happen first:

- Any new procedure should be explained to each driver by an appropriately trained trainer in a face to face briefing.

- Each area should be checked to ensure there are no radio blind spots before the tunnel telephone wires are removed.

- Train operators should be provided with a spare battery for hand held radios so it is readily available in an emergency.

Furthermore we understand that a new procedure would state that putting a short circuit device on to live track would be stated as a last resort in an emergency.

We believe this is dangerous and that there should be no expectation that any front line worker should be expected to do it. However, if London Underground bosses do wish to make laying SCD’s on live track a part of the procedure for discharging traction current in an emergency this should be tested regularly by a senior London Underground manager, for example the general manager of each line.”

We instruct the General Secretary to raise these concerns with the company and place this matter back before the NEC upon any further developments.

All LT Branches to be advised.

The London Transport Regional Council to be advised.