Thousands of people trapped underground as power cuts hit Jubliee line

PUBLISHED: 12:36 18 October 2010

A stranded Jubilee line train near Swiss Cottage

A stranded Jubilee line train near Swiss Cottage


THOUSANDS of people were trapped underground for up to two hours this morning as travel chaos decended on the Jubilee line.

Following power failures between Baker Street and West Hampstead five trains were stranded between stations and passengers had to wait to be evacuated.

The power failures occurred at around 9am - at the height of rush hour - and the final train was only fully evacuated over two hours later at 11.30am.

Due to the power failure the lights in the trains went out and the divers were unable to communicate with the passengers through the tannoy system. Joan Lockwood was trapped on a train for over an hour between Finchley Road and Swiss Cottage on the Jubliee Line. She said: “We departed Finchley Road Station at approximately 8.40 a.m.

“Prior to boarding there was an announcement that there were slight delays between Swiss Cottage and St. John’s Woods due to an ‘incident’, but they let us board.

“After we stopped at Swiss Cottage we entered the tunnel and the train started to slow down then stop. We waited for a few minutes and the driver announced that ‘there has been a power signal issue and they need to switch it back on and off to restart, this could take a few minutes, we should be going very shortly.’”

After a half hour wait in the dark operators entered the carriage and told waiting passengers that the power was down and they would not be able to hear announcements.

Ten minutes later the driver walked through the length of the train announcing that commuters would have to evacuate through the back of the train and walk through the tunnel to Swiss cottage station.

Miss Lockwood continued: “Being left underground for close to an hour with minimal communication left the people in our carriage anxious and frightened of what was happening. It was very hot, with no air and not knowing what was happening.”

Eventually, after they had been waiting for an hour in the dark, the weary passengers were finally evacuated from the train.

Jack Greenaway, who works in Swiss Cottage, was trapped on another Jubilee Line train near Baker Street station.

“Luckily the train wasn’t too crowded. There were about 30 people in my carriage. We suddenly stopped and the lights went off and it was 15 or 20 minutes before we knew what had happened.

“The driver came through all the carriages and told us that there had been a power cut.

“It was another 20 minutes before we were told we would have to be evacuated. We all walked through the carriages and through the drivers cabin onto the tracks. 
“We must have been walking underground for about 10 minutes. Lots of tube worked had come to meet us and there were some lights and torches showing the way.

“Everyone was very calm - it was a bit of a pain though. There were quite a few rats.”

A TFL spokesman said: “We had some power failures between Baker Street and West Hampstead. Five trains were between stations at the time. Two of the trains were very close to stations and evacuated very quickly.

“The other three were further away. The last train was evacuated at around 11.30am.

“Of course we apologise for any inconvenience this caused to our passengers.”


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