Derailment Caused By Crumbling Infra-structure And Staff Shortages

TUBE UNION RMT today demanded an immediate halt to staffing and maintenance cuts as an investigation report revealed that crumbling infra-structure and staffing cuts led to a potentially-lethal tube derailment last year.

The derailment happened between Earl's Court and Gloucester Road on the Piccadilly line at 5.30am on 12 May 2010. The train consisted of two locos, two wagons and a track machine.

The damning Rail Accident Investigation Report says that the engineers' train was derailed because the Tube track was in such poor condition it shifted and collapsed under the weight, confirming RMT warnings about the consequences of the tube cuts programme

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said there were not enough staff to maintain the track properly and morale was low. Investigators found five steel brackets holding the track were not secured to the sleepers underneath because the screws had broken.

The investigation found several sleepers were in "poor condition", track faults were not identified and workers had "insufficient time" to do the repairs

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“We have warned that the attack on staffing and maintenance at London Underground means that corners are cut, essential repairs are not carried out and the workforce is hacked to the bone - this report confirms everything we have said and nails yet again the lethal complacency of Boris Johnson and his senior managers.

“This report is a wake-up call to the Mayor and London Underground, if they carry on with their cuts in light of this warning then they are truly gambling with the lives of the millions of Londoner’s who use the tube.

“The cuts should stop now before we have a major tragedy on our hands.”

> RMT National News

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