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Friday, December 16, 2005

Northern Line Train operating with no Driver?

London Underground Union defends drivers' actions

Can't find any information on this at all on the net at the moment, but apparently in last night's Evening Standard there where "shocking" pictures of a Northern Line train which had been operating with no driver. Also another set of pictures were published of drivers operating trains whilst reading and paying no attention to the tracks in front of them between High Barnet and Totteridge & Whetstone. Driver's union Aslef have defended their drivers' actions, by saying that no one has ever died from a train operator reading a paper whilst "driving their train".

I heard this guy, Steve Grant, on
HeartFM news saying that a few months ago Tube staff were being praised as heroes (in fact Tony Blair praised them officially earlier this week) and now The Standard are raking up stories about them not paying attention at the controls. Well, I actually think The Standard have a point. I often see trains pulling in where the driver has been reading a paper or having a cup of tea, and it doesn't exactly fill you with confidence and helps to fuel the argument that Tube drivers are overpaid for what they do (Tube Drivers can earn around £35,000). I suppose the trains are designed to work with little driver intervention sometimes, and the union official is right about the fact that no one has died because of this.

Any thoughts or any more news on this?

UPDATE - Just had a chance to look at District Dave's Forum which has been discussing this since yesterday and it appears, the train with no driver picture didn't exist, but there were others:

Colin said: "I walked down to Tower Hill station from Fenchurch Street, on my way into work and see all the SubStandard (nickname for The Evening Standard) signs emblazoned with "train with no driver - see amazing pictures". As it was only 20p I thought sod it I'll buy a copy rather than wait and find one later. Gets about three pages in to see three pictures - all with drivers in the cab. So they're false advertising then. Of course anyone else doing that would have a story written about them. The pictures show a driver drinking a tea/coffee, a driver reading something and, admittedly a little concerning, a driver with a very young child in the cab. Any of these activities could quite easily occur at any platform. Considering how clear the pictures are, I'm astounded that the trains are actually moving - especially at the claimed 35mph."

; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, December 16, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon