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Inadequate guidance claim in Tube derailment row

LONDON UNDERGROUND (LU) is failing to provide enough guidance to prevent derailments occurring on the Tube network, maintenance contractor Metronet said last week.

Metronet wants LU to replace the blanket instructions covering 42 known potential derailment sites with more specific instructions based on the conditions at each location.

The contractor was responding to criticisms in a report on a Central Line train derailment at White City in May.

The 42 derailment locations were identified after the Camden Town derailment on the Northern Line last year (NCE 23 October 2003).

They are sets of points on the Tube network with similar characteristics.

After the Camden derailment LU ordered contractors to enforce a 10mph speed restriction and 24 hourly inspection regime at all 42 locations. One of the requirements was for trains to go no faster than 10mph at the sites.

But Metronet said the notice only referred to manually operated trains. Those on the Central Line are automatic and cannot be operated below 13mph unless switched into manual mode.

LU disputed the claim. 'The notice required Metronet to change from automatic operation to manual and travel at 10mph. LU does not accept Metronet questioning whether the notice was sufficient at that location, ' said an LU spokesman.

The row broke out following publication last month of a report into the White City derailment.

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