Two Tube Trains Collide On District Line

Damage caused to one of the trains / picture from the RMT

Damage caused to one of the trains / picture from the RMT

It’s emerged that two tube trains collided on the District Line in the early morning of 1 May.

The track between East Putney and Southfields stations had moved slightly, causing two trains passing in opposite directions to bump into each other. Nobody was injured but the trains were damaged and taken out of service. The line was checked and has been modified, but the RMT says “the incident once again shines the spotlight on the cuts to track inspections and maintenance at London Underground”. The union also says the drivers stopped the trains and have argued once again against driverless trains.

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  • Driverless Trains FTW

    “The union also says the drivers stopped the trains and have argued once again against driverless trains.”

    What is there argument here? That a driverless train would not have stopped?

    I’d personally trust a computer more and go out on a limb and say the accident probably wouldnt not have happened with driverless trains!

    • Gary Cockslap

      That would depend on whether the driving computer can detect this type of collision. As the accident was caused by a rail that had moved to cause a side-on collision – a very rare and unexpected event; after all one tends to assume that the rail positions are immutable – it’s doubtful whether an automated system would have noticed this.

      This type of accident is really a point against driverless trains, not in favour. Humans are much better at broadly interpreting the situation than computers. The best approach is hybrid – have a computer conduct all the automated tasks, and keep a human there to oversee it and deal with the unexpected outliers.

  • \\\\\\\\

    Replying to “Driverless Trains FTW”: The article clearly states that the accident was due to the track moving. How on earth is a driverless train going to prevent that accident? There’s nothing the drivers were doing that caused it.

  • CanAmSteve

    (Quoting the ES story) “ascertaining very minor damage”. Maybe he meant to say “sustaining”? One has to wonder what the “spec” is for clearance between passing Tube trains…

  • Serg

    Come to Paris and see driverless trains… it all runs smooth… no surprises. to this day :) they extended the system of Line 14 to Line 1, and maybe 8th and 13th are next.

  • sunray091

    If there are no drivers then their needs to be 2 conductors on every train. In an emergency people need RMT staff to ensure passenger safety. People need jobs too…Driving a train is not easy..its very responsible and they are paid well to do the job. If the Tube and rail systems are upgraded to 21st century standards ie as new sections are built driverless sections may make sense..but not system wide not this decade anyway.

    • Gary Cockslap

      What’s with the Dogecoin address?

      • sunray091

        Why not…Reddcoin address…or Bitcoin…today its a Dogecoin address…

  • Boring Lovechild

    One bus crashed into another outside King’s Cross today. I accept that this is not nearly so interesting.

  • Alex

    Another reason why LU should use concrete slab track instead of ballasted track (ballasted track allows the track to ‘creep’ (like what happened here), but concrete slab track doesn’t), but obviously the cost of it all will probably get in the way.

    How can the RMT say that having driverless trains would make the problem worse? The drivers can’t do anything to stop it happening, it just happens. It just goes to show that the RMT is a backwards organisation that opposes modernisation of the Tube. Driverless trains would have more seats and standing room (the extra seats and standing room going where the driver’s cab would normally be), and they would also be more frequent. A shortage of drivers? No problem! The trains just keep on running.