Jubilee line chaos: Commuters trapped in boiling tunnel for two hours

Passengers forced to walk along track to St John’s Wood after being stranded in sweltering conditions underground

Commuters stranded on the Jubilee Line were trapped in boiling conditions for almost two hours last night before being forced to walk through the tunnel to St John’s Wood.

The entire line was suspended at 7pm when a power failure struck and five trains were left stranded in tunnels along the route.

Most of the line was suspended for the rest of the evening before the misery continued this morning when a signal failure at Baker Street again saw part of the line suspended for a number of hours.

Hampstead resident Scott Lister, 24, was left standing up on a crowded train between Baker Street and St John’s Wood for nearly two hours.


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“We left Baker Street as normal and after about 10 or 20 seconds the train stopped,” he said. “It happens all the time on the tube so I didn’t think anything of it until five minutes had passed and the driver said there were technical problems.

“That carried on for about 15 minutes before he said there were traction problems on the line and they were working to resolve it.

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“The driver made the same announcement every 20 minutes or so but a couple of times when he spoke we could hear a horrible piercing alarm noise which was coming from his radio so people were getting pretty worried. No one knew what it meant and some people got quite distressed about it.

“It all carried on for two hours until they said we should all move to the front carriage and walk along the tracks to St John’s Wood.

“There were a lot of very angry people and one of the women started crying. It was boiling and my shirt was soaked through with sweat.

“When we finally got off, a few people just sat down on the platform where there were paramedics there to calm people down.”

Mr Lister says he understands nothing can be done about technical problems but he is critical of TfL’s response to help people stuck on the trains.

“The way it was handled was shocking,” he said. “There was no effort from anyone to come and give water out to people or help with ventilation in any way.

“After we had been stuck there for 30 minutes they should have made the decision to get people off the train but it took two hours to make that decision.

“Then when we finally got out there were no replacement buses or anything.”

A TfL spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise to customers for the disruption to services caused by a power failure on the Jubilee Line on Tuesday evening. Investigations continue to identify the root cause.

“All those customers affected will have their fares refunded, automatically for those with Oyster.

“Five trains between Kilburn & Canary Wharf were in tunnel sections and unable to move. The emergency services were despatched to stations as a matter of course and staff worked to detrain all passengers as quickly as possible.”

The spokeswoman confirmed this morning’s part suspension was unrelated to last night’s incident.

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