Defective Train at High Street Kensington
Although I wasn't working myself at the time of the incident that I relate below, I've been able to find out enough about it to share the story.
This happened recently on a Saturday evening and, given all the circumstances as you will read, probably couldn't have happened at a worse time!
At about 2135hrs an eastbound District line C Stock train lost forward movement as it motored up the incline from the approach to High Street Kensington to platform two. It was initially suggested to be a combination of defective motors with the remaining 'good' cars 'gapped' off current rails. Outer Rail Circle line train services also came to a halt because of the stalled train's position.
A following train C Stock train had left, but this was brought to a halt by red signals. This second train was in the Triangle Sidings area.
One way of dealing with this situation would have been the use of 'Gap Jumper' leads – these are plugged into the 'stalled' train, fitted to the current rails and this enables current to be restored to the train so that it can move far enough to get back 'on juice'. However, for some reason, it was not possible for this to be done – on this point I am unclear!
The Emergency Response Unit (ERU) were sent to assist with the incident, as was a Duty Station Manager (DSM) from Gloucester Road. The incident train was allowed to roll back and have another attempt. This attempt also failed as the train was still unable to make the climb up the incline into the station.
Apparently at this point a passenger was seen to get out of the train so now traction current had to be discharged to investigate this situation.
The plan then was for the following train to push the incident train into the platform at High Street Kensington. The securing of the points in front of train (remember it was being held by red signals, and therefore the route has to be manually secured) proved difficult. As the delay became longer and longer it was decided to detrain the incident train. Something in the order of seventy people were walked off the stalled train to High Street Kensington at about 2315 hrs – almost two hours after the train first became stalled.
While this was going on the Earls Court supervisor was now securing the points behind the following train so it could be reversed back (towards Earls Court) so that it could be diverted to Gloucester Road. This train and its fifty passengers arrived at Gloucester Road at 0007 hrs, almost two and a half hours after leaving Earls Court.
Inner Rail services were also delayed during all this because traction current was off on both the Inner Rail and the Outer Rail. Similarly with the traction current off, train services through Earls Court eastbound were limited to those from West Brompton. Trains from Richmond and Ealing Broadway being held back along the branch.
No trains ran between Earls Court or Gloucester Road to Edgware Road from the start of the incident until close of traffic. Staff at Earls Court who were dealing with the stalled train had another problem because at 2230hrs the 5000 fans from the Justin Timberlake concert at Earls Court exhibition centre were waiting for trains to get them home.
At 0132 hrs the stalled train finally arrived at Edgware Road in the form of a 12 car train because it was being pushed by another train. This pair uncoupled and the good train returned to Triangle Sidings for use the next day.
Once out of the way, another C stock came down from Baker Street to push the incident train to Hammersmith. Here once more the good train would be released and returned, this time to Edgware Road sidings. A further train would them come from Hammersmith depot and pull the incident train back into the depot. The 12 car train arrived at Hammersmith at 0230 hrs.
However, after technical attention in Hammersmith platform the incident train completed the last section of the journey unaided.
I am sure that there will be more details of this tale of woe in the fullness of time, and when I hear anything further I'll try to add to this!