Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The number of the Piccadilly Line train

The saga begins with the press statement issued by TfL on July 9th:

London Underground, the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police can now confirm that the three bombs which exploded on three Tubetrains on Thursday 7 July 2005 went off simultaneously at around 08.50.

Explosions were as follows (in succession):

Circle line train number 204 heading eastbound from Liverpool Street station to Aldgate station.

Circle line train number 216 travelling westbound heading from Edgware Road station to Paddington station.

Piccadilly line train number 311 travelling from King's Cross St Pancras to Russell Square southbound.

London Underground operates a system called TrackerNet which allows staff to observe electronically the movement of rolling stock on the Tube network. It is presently being introduced for all London Underground lines and is in full operation on the Circle line.

After careful consideration of the recorded archive of realtime movements on the Circle line we can confirm the above for Circle line trains numbers 204 and 216 to have occurred within the space of one minute respectively.

Six images are available in the News Centre. The first three images show the sequence of train movements prior to and including the explosion at Aldgate. The remaining three show the sequence of train movements prior to and including the explosion at Edgware Road.

TrackerNet is not yet live on the Piccadilly line between Hyde Park Corner and Arnos Grove. However, we can also confirm for the affected Piccadilly line train that the explosion occurred simultaneously at 08:50. Our evidence is based upon the precise time the Tunnel Telephone system on the Piccadilly line went out of service.
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/press-centre/press-releases/press-releases-content.asp?prID=420


The Piccadilly Line train number was given as 311. However, by the 10th of July the number had changed to 331:

London Underground, the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police can now confirm that the three bombs which exploded on three Tube trains on Thursday 7 July went off simultaneously at around 08.50am.

Explosions were as follows (in succession):

Circle line train number 204 heading eastbound from Liverpool Street station to Aldgate station.

Circle line train number 216 travelling westbound heading from Edgware Road station to Paddington station.

Piccadilly line train number 331 travelling from King's Cross St Pancras to Russell Square southbound.

London Underground operates a system called TrackerNet which allows staff to observe electronically the movement of rolling stock on the Tube network. It is presently being introduced for all London Underground lines and is in full operation on the Circle line.

TrackerNet is a management information tool only and not a system onwhich to base safety critical decisions. This is complimentary to existing LU signalling and track systems which feed into the individual line control rooms.

After careful consideration of the recorded archive of realtime TrackerNet movements on the Circle line we can confirm the above for Circle line trains numbers 204 and 216 to have occurred within the space of one minute respectively.

TrackerNet is not yet live on the central section of the Piccadilly Line. However, we can also confirm for Piccadilly line train 331 that the explosion occurred simultaneously at 08:50:00. Our evidence is based upon the precise time the Tunnel Telephone system went out of service.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/07/12/bomb_timeline_feature.shtml


Last year I wrote to TfL asking whether the number 311 was a typo. I received the following reply on Nov 24th:

Our ref: 1035453
19/Nov/2005

Dear xxxxxx

Thank you for your email dated 5 November.

I can confirm that the Piccadilly train involved on 7 July was the westbound train no 331. The initial reports that we received immediately at the time were incorrect and we updated our records accordingly as soon as we were advised.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Please let me know if you< have any further queries or if you need any help in the future.

Yours sincerely

Fola Olafare
Customer Service Centre


Subsequently there have been some significant developments, in view of which I replied to TfL as follows:

Dear Ms Olafare

Thank you for your reply.

A curious development has occurred concerning the number of the Piccadilly Line train. A blogger, Rachel North of London, has written:

At Kings Cross, we met Ranesh and Allen from LU, who explained that they had cordoned off a part of the Westbound Piccadilly line platform for us to say the words I posted in the entry below. We met up with David, the station manager of Russell Square, who ran into the tunnel to rescue us, and Tom and Ray the drivers of train 311, and Steve and Gerard the police officers who conducted the rescue & evacuation operation of the< passengers entering from Kings Cross. All are now members of KCU. And we are very proud to have them in the group.

http://rachelnorthlondon.blogspot.com/

(search in page for 311)

Further, the duty manager at Russell Square station is reported as saying:

'I will take 7 July to the grave'

Behind the worldwide headlines after the 7 July bombings lay hundreds of individual stories of bravery, hope and loss. Among those who experienced the horrors was Gary Stevens, duty manager of Russell Square Tube station.

It's a day I'll never forget. It will go to the grave with me. It won't ever go away.

On the seventh of July I should have started at 9 O'Clock. I woke early, I couldn't sleep and decided to come into work early.

At 8.54 all the lights flickered in the office. We were looking down the platform and we saw a light in the westbound tunnel. The driver of train 311 and about 30 customers, some of them seriously injured, had got out of the train themselves when the bomb had gone off, and we helped them up.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4566632.stm

Have you been advised of a second change to the number of the train?

The reply confirmed it was train 331:

Our ref: 1084546<

17/Jan/2006

Dear xxxxxxx

Thanks for your further email.

As stated in my previous email, the Piccadilly train involved on 7 July was the westbound train no 331 The initial reports that we received immediately at the time were incorrect and have now been subsequently updated.
Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Please get in touch if I can be of any further help.

Yours sincerely

Fola Olafare
Customer Service Centre

There were two people in the cab of train 311, Tom the driver and Ray Wright, another T/Op who was on his way to work at Acton Town. It was Ray Wright who Gary Stevens saw emerging from the tunnel.

Ray Wright's account is at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4694801.stm

He also posted on the rachelnorthlondon blog (now deleted):

Not wishing to denigrate any of the actions of police on the day, not ONE WORD has been said about the driver of Train 311, Tom. I joined Tom's train at Kings Cross,travelling in the cab with him on my way to work as a fellow driver, based at Acton Town. I took the first couple of batches of walking wounded to Russell Square and was probably the first member of staff to meet any collegue at the station. Tom stayed behind in the first car, doing what we as drivers are paid to do, looking after his train and his passengers on it. He helped some by applying tourniques and reassurring others. He saw things that even trained police officers found themselves unable to cope with, but most importantly had to face it on his own before help arrived probably 40 minutes later, a scene of utter devastation in almost total darkness. He has never been mentioned or praised, he has remained dignified and quiet, and has never returned to drive a train. Recently he applied for some compensation through his union. The response from the Met Police was "We have no knowledge of this person having been involved in this incident and therefore will not be processing his claim further." Rather odd because Tom and I were interviewed by police for around three hours after the incident. The press coverage of the other 'heroes' has left him feeling completely empty and devalued. Pity when the the reaction of Police and certain members of station staff are lauded he has been completely forgotten.

Ray Wright
Train Operator
Acton Town Depot


In order understand how such a state of affairs could have come about I have attempted a reconstruction of the events in the Piccadilly Line tunnel. After the explosions westbound train 331 was halted near to the point where the trailing crossover from the eastbound joins the westbound tunnel, which is 185m south of the King's Cross platform. Westbound train 311 was nearer Russell Square, 380m away. This is very brief. Further information is available at:

http://bridgetdunnes.blogspot.com/2006/01/mystery-of-non-existent-train-drivers.html
http://antagonise.blogspot.com/2006/01/london-77-information-event-horizon.html
http://antagonise.blogspot.com/2006/01/not-dead-yet.html
http://team8plus.org/forum_viewtopic.php?9.1914.0

3 Comments:

Blogger Bridget Dunne said...

Rachel of North London wrote on the Alex Cox Forum (before deleting this post) the following:

"There is indeed confusion about the number of the train. Tom and Ray think it was train 311 and have said so. TFL say it is 331. There was however one train, not two that was bombed. How do I know? Because every single passenger that has joined KCU has similar accounts and not one person reports being on an eastbound Piccadilly line train. If the call was going out through my writing for ‘’ were you on the bombed Piccadilly line train?’’ and there were TWO – people would be reporting different stories. And not only that, but by now someone would have said, hang on, I was going Russell Square to KX – not the other way round – and I was bombed too. Not a squeak. One train. Two number, much confusion, so why is this?

TFL are getting back to me, the driver and the station manager all think 311 – but the re was widespread confusion about the trains as many of them were taken out of service due to the fire at Cali Road. So is it confusion? Very likely, and I will report more as I hear back on my blog."

Alex Cox Forum

Let's hope Rachel will keep her word and post the reply from TFL on her blog.

12:25 am  
Blogger Numeral said...

I have modified the post to make it clear that two westbound trains were involved.

3:59 pm  
Blogger Bridget Dunne said...

I contacted Rachel through her blog and this was the exchange;

Bridget Dunne said...

Rachel
can I ask, which bombed train? Have TFL got back to you yet re: train 311 or 331? Just to remind you that on the Alex Cox forum (which has been hacked btw) you wrote that you would post TFL's answer to your query here on your blog.
Thanks

Rachel said...

The group is for anyone on the bombed Piccadilly line train that was travelling from Kings Cross to Russell Square. We know who we are. Only one train was bombed on the Piccadilly line. There is currently some confusion regarding its number. I have had clarification about the number of the train but I have not entered into further correspondence about the number of the train nor am I going to post further details here because that will draw me back into endless conversations with people who think there were 2 trains, and I am sick of doing that. Doing so is more trouble than it is worth and has led to nasty comments being left on the internet which I find disturbing.


We can only asssume that Rachel has been told that the train number was 331.

6:59 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home